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FMF vs COMNEBOL: MLS and CONCACAF to the Rescue?

islanders vs santos 300x176 FMF vs COMNEBOL: MLS and CONCACAF to the Rescue?

Atlante’s victory in the CONCACAF Champions League and the start of the playoffs should have been the biggest stories of the last week in Mexican Football. But sadly they were not because of the discrimination Mexican clubs faced in the knock out stages of the Copa Libertadoras, eventually being forced to withdraw from the tournament. The issue was supposedly the Swine Flu, but perhaps it really was the reluctance of South American sides to face off with teams from outside their Confederation whose league is one of the best on the planet.

Both San Luis and Chivas had done a credible job to reach the knock out stages but COMENBOL very unprofessionally allowed its member nations to justify the use of paranoia when refusing to host Mexican teams. Given that Mexico is not a member of COMENBOL but has the richest domestic league in the Americas and thus bought its way into South American club competitions it comes as no surprise that the member nations of the Confederation used the opportunity to make the FMF feel unwelcome.

Thanks to this action, Mexico has withdrawn from all COMNEBOL competitions. Theoretically if the FMF keeps its word that means no Copa America for El Tri in 2011. Mexico is the only nation to have advanced out of the group stage of every Copa America since 1993. This also means no Mexican teams in the upcoming Copa Sudamericana which Pachuca won in 2005.

Atlante has qualified for the World Club Championship with its CONCACAF CL triumph. Justice would be served in my humble opinion if Atlanta faced the Copa Lib. champions in Dubai and beat them.

But in the meantime CONCACAF and MLS both have big opportunities with the decision of Mexico to withdraw from South American competitions. CONCACAF’s Champions League has to be considered a bit of a joke for allowing as many MLS teams directly into the qualifying round as FMF sides, considering no MLS team has made a CONCACAF final since 20o0 and no CONCACAF final has been staged without an FMF representative since that same year.

CONCACAF should take two spots away from MLS for the 2009-2010 Champions League, awarding one to the Interliga winner (a competition staged by MLS/SUM) and the other to the winner of Superliga which could be an MLS side. This could bring as many as six FMF teams to the 24 team competition and will quite frankly help CONCACAF take advantage of having the undivided loyalty of one of the best football leagues in the world.

MLS can also take advantage of the situation by making Superliga meaningful in cooperation with CONCACAF. While MLS surely does not want to give up two spots in the CL, the confederation should put its foot down after MLS teams won just two matches while losing eleven in the recently completed Champions League. By contrast, USL-1 the second division in the United States had two entrants that won eleven champions league matches between them. USL-1 deserves at the very least a chance to have its champions play into the competition, but we’ll save that debate for another day.

Furthermore, MLS can foster closer ties with the FMF by potentially expanding Superliga or even creating a SUM sponsored event that brings South Americans best club sides to US soil to face Mexico’s best, since they will no longer face off in the Libertadoras or Sudamericana. SUM has been proactive and aggressive  previously in taking advantage of the massive fan base Mexican Football has in the United States.

The Swine Flu provides an opportunity for MLS and for CONCACAF. Now the question is whether they will take it?

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, Mexican League. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

26 Responses to FMF vs COMNEBOL: MLS and CONCACAF to the Rescue?

  1. FireExaminer says:

    Brilliant. Make SuperLiga meaningful all the while tying FMF all the closer to MLS. This seems like a no-brainer if FMF isn’t bluffing. I have a feeling we will see Mexican teams back in COMENBOL competition in two years, just in time for Copa America. Still, MLS should jump at this opportunity and have FMF prop up MLS financially with these meaningful competitions. Someone call Jack Warner!

  2. Kristian says:

    Very interesting thoughts. I hope having Mexico concentrate more on CONCACAF tournaments will be of great benefit to the region.

  3. Mexican Football says:

    I agree 100% that Don Garber’s league should have 2 spots taken away from them in the Concachampions league. However, I 100% disagree that Interliga or Superliga should be linked to the CCL. Inter and Super are meaningless wastes of time that should be done away with. How can you have a tournament where Mexican teams are on the road for ALL of their games, be a CCL qualifier? The domestic leagues are the qualifiers for the CCL. Let’s keep it that way. No need to complicate things.

    Just take those 2 spots away from the USA and leave it at that. To make up for that, let 1 preliminary Mexican spot become a group stage spot. And also 1 for the CFU. That’s it. Only the USA Supporters Shield and domestic cup champ should go to the CCL.

  4. Brazilian Fan says:

    Good article about MLS, just awful in the rest. Once again you claim that FMF is the best league in Americas and bla bla bla. Yeah right, go watch Brasileirão and Primera División and tell me which one is the best. FMF is the best in Americas is a joke. Poor information mr. Kartik. Another thing: if the Mexican teams and its league is so much better than the rest of the Americas, why they never won a Libertadores or FIFA Club World Cup? What about Brazilian and Argentinian teams huh? Amazing how that happen right?

    You talk about discrimination. Well, things like that would not happen if stuff like that did not happen either (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP8wf1Ql6Qc&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Emls%2Drumors%2Enet%2F&feature=player_embedded). Perhaps if you dont watch the video, its about the mexican player who cough and sneeze in the face of Everton player. And dont come tell me that the other player deserved and bla bla bla, because if the mexican player did that to him, could do to everyone in whatever circustance.
    Now tell me: if that happen in Champions League, against an MLS or USL team or even any other caribbean team, what would be the reaction of the teams and the league? I dont want to talk about how bad is the swine flu cuz i am not a doctor but you cant do what the mexican players did, no matter what.

    Perhaps MLS should step up and join the Libertadores next year, getting the spots of Mexican teams. That would be a way to increase the popularity of MLS in US (with the foreign residents) and the rest of America.

  5. Historically, the Brazilian, Argentine and even at one time the Colombian leagues were better than the Mexican League. But over the last 5-7 years the power has shifted. The Mexican league is much deeper, more competitive and balanced from top to bottom. The top FMF teams while not on the level of the top Argentine or Brazilian teams are quite good. The lower table FMF sides could slaughter midtable Argentine or Brazilian teams at this point in time.

    Swine Flu could change things. Players may be more reluctant to sign with Mexican clubs and perhaps the exclusion from COMNEBOL events also makes it more difficult to sign players of a high caliber. After all winning the CONCACAF Champions League just doesn’t have the aura of even making the knockout stages of the Libertadoras.

  6. Mexican Football says:

    Kartik, the Liberators were men. The way you write it, you’re saying they were female.

    Conmeball better not even think of letting in USA teams into the Liberators Cup. USA teams can’t even beat Joe Public FC. It would be disgraceful if USA teams were let into South America’s tournament, considering their level of football

  7. M. Argueta says:

    Mr. Kartik,
    I think you should take a look a Brazilian football a littlle more. Let me tell you something about the Brazilian league. It is the most competitive championship in the world. It has had 17 different champions in the 38 year history and their teams along with the Argentinan teams the most powerfull in America. You say top to botton the Mexican league is better. Did you see the game Cruz Azul Atlante game (bottom teams). None of them could beat a team of the 20 teams in the Brasileirao. Have you seen the 2009 Libertadores table? 4 of the last 8 teams standings are Brazilian. The 5th Brazilian participant was eliminated by another Brazilian this week. Of those 5 teams in Liberatadores this year, none is called Corinthians, Flamengo, Fluminense or International which are the teams playing the best football in Brazil as we speak. Let me give you another stat. Since Mexico entered the Libertadores 11 years ago, 11 teams from Brazil have made the Libertadores final game. Mexicans? only 1 (Cruz Azul). Another thing, to tell how competitive that league is, 2 of those 11 teams who made the libertadores final game are not even in the first division of Brazilian football now. This is a fact you can look it up yourself. Argentina has the other great league in America. Since I am not a fan of them, I will not talk much of them. I know that they and Brazil have the best leagues in the Americas though. I have a feeling you are the real Mexican fan. Nothing wrong, just admit it.

  8. Brazilian Fan says:

    Exacly M. Argueta. You are right. Thats not the first time Mr. Kartik does that. In another article he claimed the FMF is the best league in America and i told him the exacly same thing that you said here. Congrats for you answer.

    By the way, are you Brazilian too? If you are not, you have a tremendous knowledge of Brasileirão or perhaps of Copa Libertadores. My team is Avai who just got in first division. Have you heard about it?

    cheers

  9. M. Argueta says:

    Hi,
    No, am not a Brazilian. I follow Brazilian football all year long though. I always admire the quality and beauty of play of the Brazilians. Unfortunaley, in the US maybe because of the language, the spanish media only talks about Mexico and Argentina and the English media only talks English speaking leagues during the limited time they talk football. Regarding Avai, yes I know they recently promoted. They won the first game of the Brasilierao which in impressive. They are the only team of the Santa Catarina state in this year’s Brasileirao. I wish you good luck this year.

  10. Lucho says:

    The first paragraph is really not true… The FMF is better than South American teams?? Are you crazy… When was the last time a Mexican side won the Libertadores?? Yea thats what i thought… How can you say they didn’t want to play mexican side because they are better, that is uncalled for and ridiculous, they would have both been eliminated by the South American sides!!

  11. Lucho says:

    Nice article, didn’t like the first paragraph, but yea when you do the USL-1 should get a spot in the CCL cup, e-mail me back sounds interesting and definitely feel they should give them atleast one spot. Kill superliga and make interliga MLS and FMF and get them a spot into the CCL.

  12. Enrique says:

    I stopped following and commenting on this site for a long time because some of the arguments were just plainly irrational and has become a site of insults for the reader and contributors.

    Kartik, I’m a strong believer like you that MLS needs a lot of work and the CCL is barometer of where we stand, however, the same Kool-Aid that you accuse MLS fans of drinking, you have drank yourself when you hail the Mexican league this way. I do agree with you that the FMF is a very strong league and the MLS is quite behind but it is not the best in the Americas, the Brazilian league is.

    I watch more Latin American football than European and I can honestly tell you that the quality of play in Argentina and Brazil surpass Mexico even if the FMF has more parity than Argentina and Brazil. The success of Mexican teams is due mostly to the high influx of foreign players, especially South American (except Chivas), that has allowed teams to do well in Libertadores and Sudamericana competitions. Mexican teams rely mostly on foreign players for offense; the top goal scorers are all foreign now. This is a problem that has become a bigger issue for their national team.

    Same goes for the argument that you make that the Mexican National Team player by player is better than the US’s team. I strongly disagree, I think that they are very close and the US is gaining much ground when it comes to the future, what changes is the identity and style. The FMF has hugely damaged the work that teams like Pachuca and Chivas have done developing their players, making it all about profits and less about development. Their golden generation of Sub-17 players are struggling in Europe and are going to go back to Mexico if they are not willing to go to small teams like American players. This is a regression for the future exportation of Mexican players in top world leagues.

    I am strong believer that the growth of Mexico internationally is only good for the US and the rest of Concacaf leagues, by the same token, the growth of MLS and Central America are good for Mexico although the Mexican media and players would never accept this logic. The truth is that Mexico has stopped just a little the discrimination of the South American countries towards the Concacaf (even though Costa Rica and Honduras national teams regularly have done well against theirs) and for them to stop competing is a real shame because they gave us respect.

    I think that money needs to be spent on MLS rosters to able to compete with the most profitable league in our continent in order to advance in the CCL, which is the main reason for the struggles. For all the bad things that MLS has against it, there are more that are positive and give this league a bright future even though there are many who disagree and see its failure in future years.

  13. Soccer fan says:

    Conmebol is a very poor federation, Mexico by itself, monetarily speaking is stronger than all SouthAmerican associations together. Mexico will lose the opportunity to play against some of the best teams in the world but they can live with that. Conmebol will be asking Mexico to come back to its competitions in not time. What company would want to put their money in Copa libertadores without Mexican teams on it? Just ask fox sports or the Huge Spanish bank Santander? Truth is not bad, but it hurts, sorry for those who think this is a lie.

  14. A Mercini says:

    Dear, Mexicans. I have seen the your FMF on t.v. and I have fallen a sleep,everytime!! Conmebol mite need ur drug cartel money. But they, will servive without it!! I have lived in Italia for 9 years, and never heard of FMF, players,making news here. I’m Argentian, I hear more about, MLS than FMF.

  15. Mexican Football says:

    Mecini: You only hear about that league more because of Gullermo Barros Schelloto

  16. Haron says:

    If CONMEBOL is going to bring a non South American team to the competition it out to be the USL or the MLS, they seem to be promising leagues.
    It would be nice to see new faces in the Copa Libertadores (but I personally believe that it would be better to allow more teams to it) and it would also distribute the competitions strength in the Americas.
    It gets annoying to see the same childish mentality glorifying themselves as the best in the Americas and then have the same annual results in the Copa Libertadores. That same group that thinks they can go to any CONMEBOL competition and do whatever they please such as coughing and blowing snot at the opponent as a cowardly threat. (Would anyone have excuse this if this player had infected the other player with the AIDS virus?)

  17. Mexican football says:

    Haron: It sounds like you’d like to see the Liberators Cup absorb the Concacaf CL, and become a hemisphere-wide tournament. I think that’d be a good idea. The winner would go to the CWC. Simple. The group stages and Octo-finals would be localized, then the North and South American teams can mix it up from the quarterfinals on. That’s what the Asian CL does, with east and west Asian teams. It works.

    Don’t group that idiotic Mexican player with the rest. That’s just one guy, and he got what he deserved. No one else in the Mexican league would be so crass.

  18. A Mercini says:

    dear, Mexican fan:It seems that u fallow the FMF, very closely but ponder on this will the league ever change it ways (Me better Me want the respect, like Brasil and Argentina). Someday! Earn the it!!! Mean World Cup and World Club Champion title….!!

  19. MYTH says:

    If the argentinan league or the brasilian league are better then the mexican how come people pay more to see the mexican league, the mexican league is more famous because its richer and is one of the top ten leagues in the world. They also have the best team in the north american and south american continent Las CHIVAS RAYADAS DEL GUADALAJARA .

  20. A Mercini says:

    Myth, You have nothing to be proud of, Chivas Guadajara and the rest of the teams in Mexico, do not have major international championships!!! By the way, Mexicos money comes from Mexican and Columbian drug money!!!!!! Not from phans like you!!! And also, when have chivas produced a world class player…!!! Never!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Bolacuadrada says:

    Tha Divas Rajadas de Guadalajara the best team in this continent? What a joke. They cannot even win the mediocre Mexican league.

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  23. marine559 says:

    the argintine and brazil league better..no way..never..the best teams in mexico would beat the southamerican best teams..but i understand that at times brazilian leagues and argentine do beat mexican teams..and vice versa..but wat makes the mexican league better is that brazil and argentina only have like 4 or 5 good teams..its the same teams that always go to the copa libertadores..and dont forget that the champions of mexico dont even go to the libertadores..there in the concacaf cl..so wen you see the mexican sides in libertadores..there like the 5,6,7,8 best in mexico at the time playing againts south americas best..and they put up a good fight..i remember when chivas and pachuca faced off in the final of concacaf champions league..had both of them went to the copa libertadores instead of concacaf cl..it would have been one of them winning the libertadores..oh yeah river plate and boca..chivas beat them both..remember chivas vs boca 4-0 first leg..second leg finished early cus the sorelosing argentine fans started assualting the chivas players..hahaha..bofo bautista(chivas) told palermo(boca jrs) in spanish”its only four goals..nothing more” lol..timeless..

  24. marine559 says:

    oh yeah and the reason chivas didnt win the libertadores that year in 2005 wen they beat boca..the played that tournament iwthout like 6 of 7 starters..they were at the confederations cup..so there you go kids..if you ligitimently put the absolute mexican best teams againts the others in like a two leg game..no chance..

  25. fabio says:

    anyways copa libertadores is fixed it always been!! do ur research and u will see —-truth hurts!!!!—-

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