Mexico‘s football federation president Yon de Luisa has hinted at the possibility of a merger between Liga MX and MLS, or at the very least, increased collaboration between the two, after FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s positive comments about the relationship.
In a news conference on Tuesday, ee Luisa reiterated his federation’s commitment at furthering the relationship between Mexico, the United States and Canada. The former Club America executive noted that this previous cooperation between the three nations yielded the successful World Cup bid for 2026.
“Regarding the comments made by Infantino, I believe it is a reflection of what we’ve been working on with [our partners] in the last few years,” De Luisa said. “In 2018, when we presented the [bid], we made that happen with a lot of work, a lot of synergy, and understanding that we do better when we’re together as opposed to apart.”
A major talking point of the close ties between North American soccer associations has been the potential for a combined super league, bringing MLS and Liga MX together some time after the 2026 World Cup. While De Luisa was cagey about committing to a full-on merger, he stated the need to continue creating more joint projects in the future.
Both leagues have already signed off on the creation of the Campeones Cup, which pits the most recent MLS Cup champions against the Mexican Supercup winner, and the Leagues Cup, a multi-team competition that in 2023, will serve as a qualification tournament for the CONCACAF Champions League. Both tournaments are set to restart this year after being suspended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are several really good projects between MLS and Liga MX, and it’s good that any future alliances are approved of at an international level,” De Luisa said. “We’ll see if those are [a merger] or the creation of new cups or new leagues that can allow for better development for soccer and the enjoyment of our fans in the United States and Mexico.”
Infantino’s most recent comments were perceived as a strong endorsement from FIFA, who in the past had noncommittal when asked about allowing any of its member associations to go beyond their borders in search of new competitions not previously sanctioned by the continental governing bodies.
However, in an online conference delivered last week, Infantino praised the idea, saying that a combined MLS-Liga MX league “could quite well be the best league in the world,” and that a North American super league would allow for “new ideas” for top-level play to potentially sprout beyond Europe.