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The secret story of the dispute between Toño García and Pumas

José Antonio García Fernández, better known as 'Toño', the former jewel of Pumas, is in a wheelchairs and sued the club for medical negligence  

Toño García is in a wheelchair and is currently studying a degree in Communication.
Toño García is in a wheelchair and is currently studying a degree in Communication.

The 28-year-old former soccer player suffered an injury defending the Pumas UNAM jersey that has kept him from the fields for three years; however, the club has ignored him. Three years ago José Antonio García could not only walk, but he was a promising young player in Mexican soccer.

His fate changed when a badly treated groin injury by the Pumas' medical staff took him away from the soccer fields. And it is that in just 22 months, between 2013 and 2014, he accumulated four hip operations, under the presidency of Antonio Sancho. In May 2014, after the third operation, he returned to the courts, but the pain was still present, so he was taken to a hospital in Houston, where they found that the psoas was affected and he underwent surgery again. Four surgeries in 22 months.

In Pumas they told him that the rehabilitation would be with medical interns, but Toño García asks that it be with specialists and the board, headed by Antonio Sancho tells him that it will not be possible. For 2017, García went to a specialist who told him that the whole procedure had taken him wrong and that now he only had one option: to walk or play.

Today, 28 years old and in a wheelchair, José Antonio García declared that Pumas has ignored him despite the fact that he is under contract and although the injury occurred in an official match, the player himself had to take care of his rehabilitation expenses. Three years after his last meeting with Pumas, “Toño” García had to go to the TAS (sport arbitration court) for the Mexican team to be responsible for the medical expenses that the player himself had to pay. Pumas only offered 70 thousand Mexican pesos (3311 dollars) to the player to cover medical expenses as compensation to prevent the player from going to higher instances.

After José Antonio García Fernández made the situation known, the leaders of Pumas issued a press release in which it was clear that they will not talk about the issue. Something that is not surprising since if they were silent since 2013, why would they change and do it now?

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