THE MEXICAN FEDERATION OF MOTOR SPORT IN DISARRAY by CAJAL The Mexican Federation of Motor Sports (FMAD by it's initials in spanish language) had a stormy session in the last days of February. Several members of the Executive Committee (EC) ...
THE MEXICAN FEDERATION OF MOTOR SPORT IN DISARRAY by CAJAL
The Mexican Federation of Motor Sports (FMAD by it's initials in spanish language) had a stormy session in the last days of February. Several members of the Executive Committee (EC) accused its President Julio Vivanco of misusing official funds for his personal benefit and asked him to go out of the room. Then the remaining 11 members of the E.C. voted and decided to suspend him of his duties by a vote of 9 in favour and 2 abstentions. He was notified, and Vicepresident Franco Soldati (born in Switzerland but naturalized Mexican) a prestigious rallyist and touring driver (ran the London-Mexico Rally a few months ago) was chosen to head the FMAD until new elections can be scheduled in a short period of time. A press communiqué was issued and apparently everything was well, but yesterday, March 6, 1996, Vivanco called a press conference in the Mexican Confederation of Sports Federations (known as CODEME) which supervises all our sports federations (65 of them from soccer to yachting) and threatened the rebels with expulsion and banishment from the motor sports for their misdeeds.
I know most of the EC, and the power struggle seems to have developed this way: Julio Vivanco is the father-in-law of Marco Magaña, a driver killed in a F2 race at Monterrey in 1993. He was recruited to do some security planning for the FMAD, most people say out of compassion since he was not well known before that misfortune, at least not in the racing circles. He developed into a trusted assistant of Roberto Arnstein, the FMAD President in the period 1986-1994 (including the glorious second epoque of F1 in Mexico), and later a Vicepresident. He was chosen by the EC to be the unity candidate, and it seems that Arnstein supported him as he thought it would be easy to manipulate. Vivanco was elected and started to serve his 4 year period nine months ago, but a lot of clashes with Arnstein started to happen (some say Roberto was always telling Julio how to do things) and there was a break-up between them. Since Roberto is well known (he was a driver in the 60's and to date keeps rallying and racing touring cars), sources say that he called for a rebellion against Julio and succeeded. Complicating this panorama we have that Julio started taking liberties with the Treasury, charging personal expenses to the FMAD funds, and could never explain what those charges were for (related to official duties) and why they should be paid by the Federation. The EC got fed up with him and set an ultimatum (explain or be expelled) which was due the meeting where he was suspended, and which he could not meet. Now it seems he is in a counteroffensive helped by one of the main promoters of racing in Mexico (a driver himself) who is fed up by what he sees as bureaucratism on the Federation's part, and was never much of a friend of Roberto and his clique.
There will be an extraordinary FMAD meeting in a couple of weeks where all should be sorted out, but meanwhile we are facing a civil war, and, to make matters worse, it seems the F1 championship will not be transmitted live this year to Mexico, not even in cable TV (we should be sent to the ranks of the Third World for that!), but we will have plenty of Adrian Fernandez and his excuses for not doing better on Indy, live in both broadcast and cable TV. Ain't life great here? Keep posted for the latest on the Mexican scene.