Mexico's Veracruz Fined for Refusing to Play in 104-Degree Heat

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican first division club Veracruz have been fined an amount equating to an 'average attendance' after they refused to play on Sunday in stifling heat. Veracruz based in the city of the same name failed to turn up for their game at home to Chiapas as they carried out a threat made by their president Rafael Herrerias the week before.

Midday temperatures in the steamy tropical port can easily reach 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the sun.

Chiapas were awarded a 2-0 walkover win while Veracruz -- better known as the Red Sharks (Tiburones Rojos) -- were awarded an automatic fine of $4000 for not turning up and $880 for not presenting their list of players.

In addition the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) said the club would have to pay gate receipts from one average home attendance.

FMF president Alberto de la Torre who announced the santions said the federation would have to research the exact amount but added that it would be substanstial.

Veracruz's Luis Fuente stadium holds 30000 people and has been nearly full for most games.

Sunday's matches were the last in the qualifying stage of the Apertura championship and the FMF wanted all games to kick off at the same time.

Veracruz argued that they had already qualified for the quarter-finals of the Apertura championship while their opponents had been eliminated.

They added that the FMF had allowed two matches between eliminated clubs to be played Saturday.