Yon de Luisa and Mikel Arriola announce new changes to Mexican soccer
Mexican Football Federation President Yon de Luisa and Liga MX President Mikel Arriola revealed several new changes coming to Mexican football.
The announcement comes after a disappointing 2022 campaign for both the men’s and women’s national teams, which saw a group stage exit for El Tri in Qatar and an unsuccessful bid for El Tri Femenil to qualify for the 2023 World Cup.
“What happened for the national teams in 2022 was very serious. Today we meet to announce the new stage of restructuring,” said de Luisa.
Yon de Luisa and the FMF have tackled the restructuring of the management of the national team by creating a new committee led by recently appointed executive director Rodrigo Ares de Parga. The group, made up of the leaders of the Liga MX clubs of Santos Laguna, Club America, Necaxa, Club Tijuana, Chivas and the president of the FMF, will support De Parga in strengthening the men’s and women’s team.
The newly formed committee will be specifically tasked with finding a new male coach to succeed Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, who made an immediate departure after exiting the group stage, and scheduling competitions with ‘high profile’ opponents to replace the lack of World Cup Qualifiers.
“There is no specific date, we hope it will be soon,” said de Luisa of a possible decision to announce a male manager, before later revealing the possibility of an interim appointment. .
For Liga MX, Arriola took over to present a long list of proposals which will be discussed by club owners in May. Although league leaders have yet to vote, Arriola insisted there was a “big open” to the plan.
Proposed changes include eliminating a wild card knockout round, which would see eight teams enter post-season competition instead of 12, reducing the number of foreign players per roster from eight to seven, and creating of a new trophy for the year- long results.
If approved, the ideas could be implemented by the Liga MX Apertura 2023.
Arriola also discussed the return of promotion and relegation between Liga MX and Liga de Expansion, but reintroducing the format would require more time. Currently, only one second division team, Leones Negros, is approved as “eligible for promotion”, and a minimum of four clubs is required for the system to work.
Other eligible clubs could be announced by May.
Finally, Arriola introduced the idea of ending single entities owning multiple clubs in Mexico. He did not provide a timetable for achieving this goal.
“What we must take care of and assure the assembly [of Mexican clubs] is that it will be an organized process, and that it will start, without a doubt, as a process that maximizes the value of the teams”, said the president of Liga MX.
There are three current ownership groups that hold a majority of six teams: Grupo Pachuca (Pachuca and Leon), Grupo Orlegi (Santos Laguna and Atlas) and Grupo Caliente (Club Tijuana and Queretaro).
“It’s a before and after. Everyone asked what was announced today,” Arriola concluded.