MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Veteran Mexico defender Rafael Marquez has slammed a new Liga MX rule that will allow as many as 10 foreign players to turn out for each team next season.
Marquez, who has captained his country at four World Cups, also hit out on Tuesday at his fellow Mexican footballers, saying they were afraid to stand up to the league’s authorities in defence of their rights.
“Unfortunately there’s nothing to be done, (the league) is a monopoly in which players have no voice or vote,” the 37-year-old told a news conference.
“There’s no union like in Spain, Italy or Argentina to be able to fight for our dignity ... there’s fear of reprisals,” said Marquez who has played for Monaco and Barcelona and is part of Mexico’s squad for the Copa America Centenario in the United States next month.
The Liga MX announced on Monday that, from the 2016-17 Apertura championship which kicks off on July 15, a new ‘10-8’ rule will be implemented.
The rule is meant to safeguard the progress of promising home youngsters by ensuring teams include at least eight Mexican-born players in their 18-man matchday squads.
However, it has done away with a restriction for a maximum of five foreigners on the field at any time in a game.
From now on a team can name all 10 of their foreign or naturalised Mexicans in their starting lineups.
The Liga MX is packed with South American players, mainly Argentines, many of whom have taken out Mexican citizenship. Some have been picked by the Mexico team.
“As a Mexican I‘m disappointed by this kind of decision,” Marquez said.
Reporting by Carlos Calvo; Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by Tony Jimenez