Mexico's interior secretary gets praise from soccer stars

Sun, Jan 22, 2023
Other News (AP)

Mexico's interior secretary gets praise from soccer stars

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico's interior secretary has received public messages of support from soccer stars and ex-stars Saturday, in what some interpret as a boost for his longshot aspirations for a presidential nomination.

Adan Agusto Lopez is Mexico's No. 2 domestic political official, just after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Ex-America forward Giovani dos Santos taped a message on social media telling Lopez, "I am very happy for your friendship." America back Miguel Layun and former midfielder Braulio Luna posted similar messages.

As for the timing of the messages, it's unusual since the presidential nomination for Lopez Obrador's Morena party won't be decided until late 2023. And Lopez is considered far behind the top contender in that race, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.

Lopez, who is no relation to the president, thanked the players but asked people not to give apparent endorsement messages because the primary race will not formally open until the fall, and Mexican law prohibits early campaigning.

That has been a spiny issue in Mexico, where some presidential hopefuls like Sheinbaum have already had their names painted on walls and billboards.

And in past Mexican elections, show business and internet celebrities have been criticized for taping online messages in support of politicians outside the strict laws governing such ads.

Dos Santos quickly issued a statement clarifying that he had received a request to tape the message through a close friend.

"I want to emphasize that it was not done as part of any campaign or with the aim of any particular political support," Dos Santos wrote. "It has been part of my career to share in a friendly way this type of greeting with my fans and friends, when they ask for it."

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