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Mexico’s Bonilla becomes first non-European head of World Leagues Forum

Image credit: World Leagues Forum

The World Leagues Forum (WLF), a group representing professional football leagues from across the world, has named Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla as its new chairman.

The head of Mexico’s top flight becomes the first non-European chair of the WLF. Bonilla will succeed Christian Seifert, chief executive of the German Football League (DFL), in the role.

Bonilla was appointed today (Friday) during the WLF’s annual meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco. Seifert will remain with the WLF as a vice-chairman together with Don Garber, commissioner of North America’s Major League Soccer.

Bonilla said: “I am extremely honoured to having been appointed chairman of the World leagues Forum. It is an opportunity to help develop and improve our beloved sport and to position the leagues in the football landscape.”

The annual meeting also saw members welcome the recent agreement between the WLF and Fifa, football’s global governing body, which seeks to improve governance structures and standards in the professional game.

The leagues also reiterated the need to regulate agents and expressed support to the recently-adopted reform by the Fifa Council that pledges a license and a cap on fees.

Elsewhere, the WLF discussed the future of Fifa’s Club World Cup, which in 2021 will be held in China. Leagues will make proposals to Fifa on the competition’s redistribution model so the competitive balance of the tournament is not jeopardised.

It was also agreed that WLF members which already run women’s football competitions will share their experiences to support other leagues in developing the women’s game in their countries. Leagues also expressed concerns on racism in football and set up the ‘Task Force Against Racism’ initiative to collect data from across their members, identify best practices and make recommendations.

The WLF is based in Zurich and was formed in December 2015.