Father's comments complicate Marco Fabian's position at Eintracht Frankfurt
Marco Fabian's dream of moving to Europe and emulating former Chivas teammate Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez's success in the Bundesliga has taken a turn for the worse. The 26-year-old forward had a lukewarm start after joining Eintracht Frankfurt in December, but things have gone downhill since German-Croatian coach Niko Kovac took over on March 8.
Fabian featured for 54 minutes in Kovac's first game in charge, a 3-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach, but hasn't featured since. He was an unused sub in the 1-0 win over Hannover 96 and was left out of the squad entirely for the 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich on Saturday. He is yet to score a Bundesliga goal in nine appearances and his club sit 17th in the league, above only Hannover 96.
As if things weren't bad enough already, Fabian's father, also called Marco Fabian, weighed in on his son's situation on Sunday. Fabian senior said that the reason his son wasn't playing was because former Croatia coach Kovac was biased against Mexicans after El Tri's group-stage win over the Croatians at the 2014 World Cup.
"What I see is that the coach holds a sentiment against Mexicans," Fabian's father told Univision. "I don't see any other motive for leaving Marco out."
While it is difficult to understand why Fabian is not getting more minutes under Kovac and was completely left out of the 18 last weekend, suggesting the coach is discriminating because of a player's nationality is at best questionable.
Chivas owner Jorge Vergara added his opinion on the subject after his team's 4-0 victory over Pumas on Sunday, saying "racism is very serious" and that the door at Chivas is open for Fabian's return.
The context here is that bitterly contested 2014 World Cup group-stage game in which Kovac talked beforehand of Mexico's "trembling knees," to which Andres Guardado responded to in his celebration after he scored en route to Mexico's 3-1 victory that knocked Croatia out of the tournament.
That said, it is a stretch to suggest Kovac would leave Fabian out because he is Mexican, especially as Fabian senior didn't provide actual evidence. The accusation could have consequences, and Fabian's father has hardly done his son any favors. Imagine the scene in training when the Mexico international showed up on Monday, or what will be going through Kovac's mind when picking his team for Saturday's crucial clash against Hoffenheim.
And all that comes off the back of a story in ESPN Deportes last week that reported Fabian has a release clause from Eintracht should the team get relegated this season. The timing couldn't have been worse, with Eintracht Frankfurt needing to pull together while Fabian's alleged contract details are being revealed and his escape route publicized.
Kovac wouldn't be the first coach to sideline Fabian, though. There were times at Chivas in Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre's last spell at the club where the former Mexico coach preferred to use Fabian off the bench and start younger players.
If there's any silver lining for Fabian, it's that Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio did call him into the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Canada, and the opportunity is there for further involvement in the national team. The downside is that Fabian needs to prove himself on the field in Frankfurt if he's to get a chance at the Copa America squad. He now has a job on his hands just to get minutes after how the last few days have panned out.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.