Liga MX's Chivas cuts ties with 4 players over abuse allegation

Liga MX giant Chivas has expelled midfielder Dieter Villalpando from the club after he was accused of committing a sexual abuse crime against a female at a party, while Eduardo "La Chofis" Lopez, Jose Juan "Gallito" Vazquez and Alexis Pena are suspended from the club for their alleged involvement.

The alleged incident took place last month, with Villalpando's lawyer indicating in interviews with different media outlets that his client is the victim of attempted extortion.

In a document obtained by ESPN's Rene Tovar and Alfredo Olivarez, Villalpando submitted a written statement to authorities declaring his innocence of the allegation.

"None of the four players will play again for Chivas," said the club's sporting director, Ricardo Pelaez, in a video statement on Wednesday. "Chivas are damaging their own sporting interests, but with the idea of building a team with values. Starting from this moment on, there will be zero tolerance; not anyone can wear the Chivas shirt only because they play football well."

Villalpando was "permanently separated" from Chivas, while Pena, Lopez and Vazquez have been sidelined and can be transferred, according to Pelaez. Apart from 24-year-old Pena, all three have played several seasons in Mexico's top division, with 32-year-old Vazquez having won four league titles and featuring for Mexico at the 2014 World Cup.

The incident is the latest indiscipline at Chivas in 2020, with Uriel Antuna, Alexis Vega, Lopez and Cristian Calderon having made headlines this year for off-field incidents, although this latest one has caused the club to take a hard-line stance.

"It is more than a simple indiscipline; all the attention tarnishes the name of our family and institution," club CEO Amaury Vergara said in the same statement. "It's important to mention that the Omnilife-Chivas group condemns any act of violence against women."

Vergara started by stating that his father, Jorge, bought the club -- which plays only with Mexico nationals -- with the idea of fielding players that inspire Mexico's youth, something the latest incident puts into disrepute.

"There will be zero tolerance," Vergara added. "We have taken the determination to put an end to the indiscipline and to any act that goes against the values and tradition of our club."

Chivas boasts 40 million fans in North America and is currently in eighth position in the Liga MX table, with one round of the regular season to go in the 2020 Guard1anes tournament.