Endorse the disappearance of promotion threatens the development of national football, says Lebrija

Endorse the disappearance of promotion threatens the development of national football, says Lebrija

Karla Torrijos

La Jornada newspaper
Saturday, November 21, 2020, p. a11

Rafael Lebrija, former director of the Mexican Soccer Federation (FMF), described as absurd and inexplicable the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS) to endorse the suspension of promotion and relegation in the Liga Mx, as he considered that it violates the development of tricolor football.

The governing body of national football approved last April to suspend promotion and relegation for six seasons as a measure to counteract the economic crisis derived from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Faced with this determination, the Leones Negros clubs of the University of Guadalajara (UdG), Venados de Mérida and Correcaminos, belonging to the now defunct Liga de Ascenso, presented a controversy before the TAS to reverse the measure. However, the agency issued its ruling in favor of the FMF last Thursday.

As much as the TAS has said that this determination was good, I do not agree, it seems absurd, because since there is no decrease there is no interest in the teams that go in the last places of the table, as there was previously, and neither there is the aspiration of those who were active in the Second Division to be able to rise, so I no longer see a case for the competition, he said.

He also opined that the FMF has lately made decisions that have been harmful to Mexican football, such as the increase in foreign players, not participating in the Copa América, in the Libertadores; then you could pay to stay in the First Division, in short, a series of nonsense that is detrimental to our sport. There are certain things that should be reviewed to really grow soccer.

He also stressed that the arguments they are presenting to carry out this determination are not valid so that there is no relegation or promotion, if that was precisely what made the Liga Mx attractive and entertaining. I don’t know where that idea came from, surely from some of the clubs that were afraid of losing their place in the top circuit, but I’m sure it’s a total mistake.

The former manager pointed out that if the measure “were something as good as they say, it would also be adopted in leagues in other countries, such as Germany, Spain, France and England, but no, what’s more, we see that even with the pandemic everyone has continued with the same system. If the TAS made that decision, then that it also applies in other tournaments and not only in Mexico.

I find the position of the CAS on this issue very strange. All over the world, with the exception of the United States, there are decreases, in South America, Europe, even there not only one team loses the category, but three, and it is the same number of those who are promoted, I insist, it seems to me something completely absurd.

He stressed that the most unfortunate thing about this resolution is that many players will lose the opportunity to compete in the First Division. We are 130 million inhabitants in the Mexican Republic and many young people are eager to show themselves, but how are they going to do it if there are no spaces? With so many foreigners, who in many cases are sitting on the bench, and without a Promotion League, it is almost impossible! What they should do is look for opportunities for these guys instead of approving these kinds of decisions.