Liga MX, FMF plan big changes before 2026 World Cup

President of the Mexican Football Federation Yon de Luisa and his Liga MX counterpart Mikel Arriola revealed a detailed roadmap and list of proposed changes to Mexican soccer on Tuesday.

The announcement comes on the heels of a disappointing year for both the men’s and women’s national teams – the low point of which was a group stage exit for All three in Qatar.

“What happened to the national teams in 2022 was very serious. Today we meet to announce the new stage of restructuring,” said De Luisa.

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With an eye on the 2026 World Cup, which Mexico will co-host with the US, Aim to face “high-level” opponents and plan a 2025 summer competition for Al Tris Senior squad.

The national team committee – which is made up of Liga MX club leadership from Chivas, Santos Laguna, Club America, Necaxa, Club Tijuana and the FMF president – will support De Parga in the process of finding a new men’s coach. Since the departure of Gerardo “Tata” Martino immediately after the group stage exit in the World Cup, Mexico has yet to find a replacement.

“There is no specific date, we hope it will be soon,” De Luisa said of a possible decision to announce a men’s manager, later noting that there is a possibility that a coach will be named next week, while he will Exclude the idea of ​​an interim. appointment.

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At the Liga MX level, Arriola revealed a long list of proposals that have yet to be officially confirmed by club owners, who will meet in May. Although league leaders will need to agree on the ideas, Arriola claimed there is a “great openness” to his plan.

If ratified, whether individually or as a whole package, proposals such as returning to just eight playoff invitations instead of 12, decreasing the number of foreign players per roster from eight to seven, and establishing a new year-long trophy Results, may all be in place as soon as the 2023-24 season.

Regarding the new trophy, Arriola’s idea is to keep the current Liga MX format with two seasons and playoffs per year, but with a separate championship earned for the cumulative total points in the Apertura and Clausura.

Other motions, if approved, may take longer. Arriola wants to bring back promotion and relegation, but also highlighted that only one second division team, Leones Negros, has been approved to be eligible for promotion. In order for promotion to first return to Liga MX, a minimum of four second division teams need to be approved. More eligible clubs may be announced by May.

Another idea that Arriola wants to tackle is ending the practice of single entities owning multiple clubs in Mexico. However, he did not provide a timeline for achieving this goal.

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“What we need to take care of and ensure to the assembly [of Mexican clubs] Is that it will be an organized process, and that it will begin, without a doubt, as a process that maximizes the value of the teams, “said the Liga MX president.

Currently there are three ownership groups that own a majority of six teams: Grupo Pachuca (Pachuca and Leon), Grupo Orlegi (Santos Laguna and Atlas), and Grupo Caliente (Club Tijuana and Queretaro).

According to Arriola, tournaments like the expanded League Cup with MLS and the recent partnership between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL will help increase the club’s perceived value to possible new investors.

The CONMEBOL partnership announced last Friday will showcase a Copa America in the United States in 2024, a women’s CONCACAF W Gold Cup tournament with South American invitations, and a “final-four” club competition that will involve two men’s teams from each confederation.

When asked if this could also mean a return for Liga MX to the Copa Libertadores in the future, Arriola said the “door has been opened” to the possibility.

An additional project presented by Arriola was aiding in the process of sending domestic players to European clubs. In the hopes of avoiding the inflated fees that exist in the transfer market of Mexico, Liga MX’s president will push for more teams to have affiliations with European clubs to potentially move domestic talents at a younger age.

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Arriola noted that the league and FMF will also “invest resources” to help move abroad, such as incentivizing teams whose players move to Europe and helping individuals with the process of obtaining a passport.

“This is a before and after,” said Arriola about the outline of the FMF and Liga MX. “Everyone was asking for what was announced today.”

Mexican soccer has lived through a tumultuous period that began with the senior men’s national team losing the Gold Cup final and the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League final in 2021, both to the United States.

After failing to qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the 2023 U20 Men’s World Cup and the 2024 Olympics for both men’s and women’s teams, Mexico’s first stage of restructuring began last summer with the firing of General Sports Director Gerardo Torrado, Sporting. Director of National Teams Ignacio Hierro, Women’s National Team Manager Monica Vergara and Men’s U20 Coach Luis Perez.

Since then, they have hired Andrea Rodebaugh as the new sports director for women’s national teams, Pedro Lopez as the women’s national team coach, and Jaime Ordiales as the sports director for men’s national teams, along with the recent employment of De Parga as executive director. of national teams.


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