Liga MX ending pro/rel is a 'grave error' - Mexico's Hector Moreno

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Mexico international Hector Moreno is the latest figure to hit out at the suspension of promotion and relegation between Mexico's top two divisions.

A five-year suspension of pro/rel was announced on Friday, with an already-struggling second division (Ascenso MX) facing increased financial problems due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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But like many of Mexico's other top players, including Carlos Vela and Miguel Layun, Moreno is against the plans to turn the second division into a development league, with reports there could be limits on the number of players permitted over the age of 23 as well as foreigner restrictions.

"It is a big blow for the players and Mexican football," said Al-Gharafa defender Moreno in an interview with ESPN. "I've been in contact with [player association president] Alvaro Ortiz and it is a decision that was taken unilaterally. Deciding something so big seems complex."

Moreno stated that the decision was a "grave error" that could damage the careers of players that don't make it in the top division.

"I speak as a footballer and I think they are committing a grave error and I believe that it close off older people that don't have a place in the first division, as well as youngsters," he said. "We all want players to reach 17 years old and debut and go on to a World Cup, but it isn't like that, they are processes and it is a hard blow for the Mexican player."

Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla defended the decision on ADN 40's Marcaje Personal, indicating that the number of clubs in the league could rise, leading to more opportunities for Mexican players.

Ascenso MX clubs have endured severe financial difficulties in recent times, with the number of clubs falling from 18 three years ago to 12 today, partly due to a certification system that restriction promotion to Liga MX.

Bonilla stated that a fund to pay each second division club 20 million pesos ($845,000) every year could come from a fine paid out by the bottom three Liga MX clubs in the points-per-game table at the end of each season.

The Liga MX president said in a separate interview with MedioTiempo that the new-look second division will have a collective TV rights deal and that there's the potential for league-wide sponsorship.