The Mexican and U.S. national soccer teams defied protocol Friday night in their World Cup qualifier as they posed together for a team photograph in a display of unity as U.S. president-elect Donald Trump threatens to tear the two nations apart.
Normally, soccer teams pose separately before the game, but this time the players decided to pose together to strike back at Trump’s proposal to make Mexico pay for a wall between the two country to keep immigrants out.
Mexican striker Oribe Peralta tweeted after the game, “No walls can stop us,” although the tweet appears to have been deleted from his account.
Mexico won the game, hosted in Ohio, with a 2-1 final score and will travel to Panama on Tuesday for the next match. The team sits in second place in Concacaf's World Cup Round 5 qualifying table.
Following Trump's controversial comments surrounding Mexican immigrants, who he has branded "rapists," Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was criticized for inviting Trump to Mexico when the president-elect was still in the race against Hillary Clinton.
Mexico's foreign minister said Wednesday that her government would not pay for a border wall with the U.S., but that she is concerned about maintaining a strong relationship with its biggest trade partner.
During his campaign, Trump also promised to abolish the neoliberal North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, having an adverse effect on the Mexican peso.