Monterrey midfielder Carlos Sanchez will miss the Liga MX final against Pachuca after the key Rayados player flew to Uruguay to meet up with his national team squad.
Sanchez waited in Mexico City's international airport as Monterrey and the Liga MX negotiated with the Uruguayan football federation, but the player released a statement indicating that while he was torn, he ultimately had a duty to join up with Uruguay in preparation for next month's Copa America Centenario.
"Because of commitments taken on with the Uruguayan football association before my arrival at this great institution, I left on Monday to defend my country's shirt, which I profoundly love," wrote Sanchez in a statement shared on social media.
- Carlos Sanchez (@patosanz_20) May 24, 2016
"That same love I've learned to feel for Rayados," he added, explaining that missing out on the final hurts him deeply.
Sanchez has arguably been the player of the season in the Liga MX this Clausura 2016 and scored an important goal in the semifinal second leg last Saturday to help Monterrey overcome Club America to reach the final. His absence for the season's championship matches will be keenly felt by his club.
Rayados fans took to social media to demand "Pato" Sanchez stay and play in the final, but the Uruguayan federation is within its rights to call up the player ahead of the Copa America, with the Liga MX final scheduled during the period in which national teams are in full preparation for the tournament.
Fans are outraged that while Sanchez is set to miss the Liga MX final, Uruguayan defenders Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez will be allowed to play in the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday for Atletico Madrid against Real Madrid.
A report on ESPN Mexico stated that UEFA had asked for special permission for more flexibility regarding its tournaments, whereas the Liga MX hadn't.
There was also an issue over the involvement of Colombian internationals Edwin Cardona (Monterrey), Oscar Murillo (Pachuca) and Stefan Medina (Pachuca), although an agreement was reached Monday and Monterrey publicly thanked the Colombian federation and head coach Jose Pekerman for allowing Cardona to play.
Monterrey also issued a statement thanking the Ecuadorian federation for allowing Walter Ayovi to play in the final.
Rayados meet Pachuca in Estadio Hidalgo on Thursday, with the return leg on Sunday in Estadio BBVA Bancomer.
The Copa America begins just five days later on June 3, with Colombia opening up against host the United States.