Mexican football league system

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The Mexican football league system is the format and structure of competition of soccer in that country. It is organized by the Mexican Football Federation, except for the Liga MX and the Ascenso MX that are organized independently; The tournaments consist of five levels, male and female professional levels. In addition to having the Copa MX which is also organized independently to the Femexfut.


Liga MX, known as the Primera División (First Division) before the 2012–13 season, is the highest level of Mexican football and consists of 18 clubs. Each calendar year is split into two short tournaments, the Apertura (Opening) and the Clausura (Closing). In each short tournament, a club plays the other 17 clubs once. The home team switches, depending on the current short tournament.

A new champion is crowned for each short tournament through a playoff system consisting of eight teams. The top eight clubs qualify for the playoffs. The clubs are arranged before each round so that the highest seeded team remaining always plays the lowest seed remaining. The clubs play in a two-legged tie, with one match occurring at each club's home ground, and whichever club has the better aggregate score advances. If the two clubs are tied after both legs in the quarterfinals and semifinals, the higher seed advances automatically. In the finals, if the two clubs are tied after both legs, two 15-minute halves of extra time are added. If the clubs are still tied after extra time the champion is determined by kicks from the penalty mark.

One club is relegated to Ascenso MX each year (two short tournaments). To determine the club to be relegated, the ratio of points to games is kept for each team. The club that has the worst points to games ratio over the previous three years (six short tournaments) is relegated to Ascenso MX.

It is organized by the Mexican Football Federation and consists of four levels.

  1. Liga MX (18 clubs)
  2. Ascenso MX (16 clubs)
  3. Liga Premier: Serie A (36 clubs) and Serie B (28 clubs) 64 clubs
  4. Tercera División, 215 clubs (14 groups)




Liga MX
18 clubs

↓↑ 1 club


Ascenso MX
16 clubs

↓↑ 1 club


Liga PremierSerie A
36 = 18 clubs + 18 Premier teams (in two groups)

Liga PremierSerie B
28 clubs (in two groups)

↓↑ 2 club


Tercera División
215 clubs (in fourteen groups)

International Competitions

The champions and runners-up of the Apertura and Clausura tournaments earn a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League. In addition, clubs of Liga MX are invited to participate in CONMEBOL's club tournament, Copa Libertadores. Between 2005 and 2008, 2 Mexican teams were invited to participate in the Copa Sudamericana. Beginning in Apertura 2014 (2015 edition), two Mexican clubs that qualify to the Copa Libertadores are the best eligible teams in Apertura tournament not participating in the CONCACAF Champions League and one Mexican club that qualifies to the Copa Libertadores are the champions of SuperCopa MX. Mexico 1 and 2 enter directly to the Second Stage of the Copa Libertadores while Mexico 3 have to play the First Stage.


Established in 2007, the women's league consists of two levels – the top division Super Liga and the lower division Liga Premier. As of Apertura 2012, there were 19 clubs participating in the Super Liga and 11 clubs in Premier. In September 2017 the Liga MX Femenil started. It's an under-23 league for Mexican nationals.[1] It's unconnected to the SuperLiga. There also is a Liga Mayor Femenil, which established in 2012 is also unconnected to those two others.

Level Leagues (parallel)
Organizer Mexican Football Federation LIMEFFE LMF
1 Liga MX Femenil
16 clubs
16 clubs
Liga Mayor Femenil
2 n/a Premier
27 clubs (in two groups)
3 n/a Segunda División
26 clubs (in two groups)

See also


  1. ^

External links

  • Official website of Liga MX and Ascenso MX
  • Official website of Segunda División de México
  • Official website of Tercera División de México
  • Official website of Liga Mexicana de Fútbol Femenil
  • Mexico women football news
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