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Liga MX Femenil announces changes

The league will allow foreign players, establish a U17 division, and look to increase business partnerships in a bold new vision laid out by President Mikel Arriola.

Tigres UANL v America - Final Apertura 2018 Liga MX Femenil Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Liga MX Femenil will look a little different next year and in years to come, as the league made several announcements regarding things as varied as player rules and cooperation with other women’s soccer leagues. Liga MX Executive President Mikel Arriola announced several changes to the league earlier today.

  • Teams can sign up to two foreign-born players starting in the next tournament. The league stared out only allowing Mexican-born players, amending the rule to allow Mexicans with dual citizenship to play starting with the 2018 Apertura.
  • A U17 division will be created. Previously teams were only required to field a first division team, however some had youth teams to develop players.
  • Televising all Liga MX Femenil matches. Currently six teams have deals with TUDN, six with FOX Sports Mexico, three with TVC Deportes, and one each with Claro Sports and TVP. Atlético de San Luis does not have a television deal for their femenil team, although ESPN broadcasts the men’s team. This is in Mexico only, however TUDN broadcasts their games in the United States and Chivas has a deal that allows NBC/Telemundo to broadcast their games in the US and via CHIVAS TV worldwide.
  • Adhering to the FIFA rule for substituting and registering players in the event of a player pregnancy. No formal policy existed previously, and this brings Liga MX Femenil in line with FIFA guidelines where teams can register a player during the season in the event a player needs to take maternity leave.
  • Forming alliances with the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States and FA Women’s Super League in England. It makes sense that as women’s soccer becomes a more global game that partnerships and alliances will form between leagues.
  • New competitions. In addition to the U17 division, Liga MX Femenil will establish a Campeones Cup, ostensibly between the winner of Liga MX Femenil and NWSL starting in December 2021. In June of 2022 they’re looking to establish a four team “international tournament”, although how many Mexican teams will be in and where the other teams will be from was not announced. In July 2022 will be the first Campeón de Campeones, which will again inferring from the name be the winner of the previous Apertura and Clausura facing off against one another. And a Balón d’Oro Femenil established in July 2022 as well.

Adriana Terrazas of TUDN contributed to this report.