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Liga MX suspends promotion-relegation for five years

Mexico’s Liga MX has suspended promotion and relegation to and from the league for the next five years following a vote by the 18 club owners.

Clubs in the second-tier Ascenso MX voted in favor of the decision earlier this week. They will receive 240 million pesos ($10m) for five years, which represents 20 million pesos ($845,000) per club every year.

Ascenso MX’s 2020 Clausura season has also been cancelled. It will now aim to become a league seeking to promote young Mexican players.

It is a move that Liga MX has been mulling for at least two years. Promotion to Liga MX has not only been dependent on results but also certain financial conditions, mainly infrastructure and a declaration of economic assets that prove players will be paid on time.

It means that a number of Ascenso MX clubs have not been eligible for promotion, while many who have made the move up have struggled due to the financial disparity with the leading clubs. No Ascenso MX met the requirements this year, it has been reported.

It appears unlikely that Fifa will intervene on the matter, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport recently ruled that the world governing body was not legally required to enforce promotion and relegation in the United States soccer pyramid following a case put forward by Miami FC and Kingston Stockade FC.

In December, Liga MX agreed to lower the number of foreigners at first division club rosters following pressure from Mexico national team manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino.

Currently, a maximum of nine non-homegrown players are allowed in each 18-player matchday squad. This figure will reduce to eight in 2021-22 and seven in 2022-23. The maximum number of non-homegrown players in each club roster will also decline from the current 12 to 11 in 2020-21, 10 in 2021-22, and nine in 2022-23.

TUDN, the United States-based Spanish-language sports network, recently teamed up with Liga MX to broadcast the Mexican top-flight league’s new esports competition, the “eLiga MX by BBVA Tournament.”