Carlos Vela creates an Olympics hurdle 

May, 11, 2012
05/11/12
10:20
AM ET

At first glance, Carlos Vela's decision to reject an invitation to the Olympics appeared to border on treason. Arguably Mexico's best player at the moment, Vela, unlike Javier Hernandez, was unencumbered by FIFA's rule that required players to get permission from their club teams if they were born prior to 1989.

Vela, born in March 1989, could participate if he so chose. In order to concentrate on his club career, he said no, a decision that now resonates loudly in Mexico and has brought Vela harsh criticism, a misguided sentiment because the Mexican Federation is to blame for this uncomfortable situation.

For more than a year, Vela's career has lived on the whims of his mercurial managers. The great Arsene Wenger, in sending him out on loan in January of 2010 to West Bromwich Albion -- where Roy Hodgson played him sparingly -- and then again to Real Sociedad last summer, was essentially saying that Vela was not good enough to play for Arsenal. Similarly, El Tri manager Jose Manuel de la Torre in rejecting Vela, in part due to his lack of club playing time, for Mexico's Gold Cup squad last year was telling Vela he was also not good enough to play for his country either.

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