Mexico’s Liga MX officials are not happy with the officiating during the 2023 Leagues Cup. The competition began as a small tournament featuring just a handful of Major League Soccer and Liga MX clubs. However, it now includes every team from the two divisions. While the tournament features all clubs from the leagues, MLS clubs host all the matches. The top three performers in the Leagues Cup automatically qualify for the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

Despite initially calling the current tournament “a success.” Liga MX president, Mikel Arriola, has now voiced concerns about refereeing at the competition. There have been a series of questionable calls that have favored MLS clubs during the tournament. This has included a handball incident during a match between Monterrey and Portland, as well as a controversial VAR decision that penalized Club America.

President, league issue statements regarding ref issue

“We communicated with the Leagues Cup Refereeing Committee headed by CONCACAF, with the purpose of analyzing both refereeing and VAR,” Arriola recently stated. “We want to keep growing together because MLS is also concerned that there is homogeneity in refereeing, in the use of technology.”

Along with the Mexican league’s president voicing his concerns, the league itself also issued a similar statement on social media. After thanking fans and their players, Liga MX then claimed to be focusing on VAR decisions in future matches.

“We will be following the matches, focusing on the arbitration issue and the VAR, a situation that we have already made latent before the Leagues Cup Organizing Committee, prior to the start of the round of 16, with the aim of turning it over to CONCACAF for its corresponding analysis,” the statement read.

However, Tata Martino, the manager of Inter Miami, hit back at the complaints. Inter Miami, which has been the beneficiary of some close calls in the Leagues Cup, is currently in the quarterfinals. Speaking at his press conference on Thursday, Martino said Liga MX teams are pointing the finger at the wrong person.

“If each club wants to complain, who they have to complain to is the president of the Mexican federation. The one who accepted [the Leagues Cup deal] was the president of the FMF.”

Just two Liga MX teams remain in Leagues Cup

The quarterfinal stage of the 2023 Leagues Cup is set to resume on Friday, August 11th. There are currently just two Mexican teams remaining of the eight clubs still in the competition. Monterrey edged Portland despite not being awarded a blatant penalty and then beat fellow Liga MX side Tigres. Queretaro, on the other hand, topped New England Revolution on penalties at the previous stage.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Agencia-MexSport