Reformation[ edit ] Throughout the late s and early s, many small clubs faced economic difficulties which were attributed to the lack of international competition by Mexico's clubs and an unrewarding league format.
Like many South American and European clubs, Mexico's clubs that placed high in the league standings could not afford to participate in prestigious international tournaments, such as the Copa Libertadores.
This was done to regenerate interest and reward teams that placed fairly high in the standings. The play-off, called the Liguilla, was played using various formats to determine the champion. The most common format was a straight knock-out between the top eight teams in the table. At other times the league was divided into groups with the top two in each group, often as well as the best 3rd placed teams, qualifying for the play-offs and in some seasons the play-offs themselves involved teams playing in groups with the group winners playing off for the title..
The format was changed from season to season to accommodate international club commitments and the schedule of the Mexico national team. The league also announced a rebranding, with the introduction of a new logo. The league will, however, still need final approval from FIFA to fully implement the technology.
The season opens with the apertura tournament opening tournament- running from July to December followed by the clausura closing - running from January to May.
The top eight teams progress to the liguilla for each tournament. If one of those teams is in last place in the league's relegation table see below , that team is replaced by the team that finished ninth in the tournament.
From to , the league followed a two-tournament schedule with invierno winter and verano summer tournaments but from to the 18 teams were divided into three groups of six with the top two teams from each group and the two best third place teams qualified for the liguilla.
The teams played in the same group for each tournament. The qualification phase of the tournament lasted 17 weeks, with all teams playing each other once per tournament in a home and away series over both tournaments.
Playoffs liguilla [ edit ] The liguilla Spanish for "little league" is the play-off phase of the tournament. This phase starts with eight qualifying teams playing two-legged ties with the winner on aggregate-score progressing. The Champion team is awarded the First division trophy, and the runner up is awarded a smaller version of the trophy. The birth of La liguilla in modernized the league despite the disagreements between the traditionalists and the modernists.
Clubs that were near bankruptcy were now better able to compete and generate profits. Relegation[ edit ] At the end of a season, after the Apertura and Clausura tournaments, one team is relegated to the next lower division, Ascenso MX , and one team from that division is promoted and takes the place left open by the relegated team. Currently, the relegated team is determined by computing the points-per-game-played ratio for each team, considering all the games played by the team during the last three seasons six tournaments.
The team with the lowest ratio is relegated; if the team that is in last place in relegation table is among the eight teams qualifying for the Liguilla at the end of a tournament, the ninth-place team qualifies for the Liguilla instead. For teams recently promoted, only the games played since their promotion are considered two or four tournaments. The team promoted from Ascenso MX is the winner of a two-leg match between the champions of the Apertura and Clausura tournaments of that division.
If a team becomes the champion in both tournaments, it is automatically promoted. Prior to the start of the —18 season, the rules for relegation and promotion changed: Generally, the Apertura and Clausura champions and the Apertura and Clausura runners-up qualify, and are placed in Pot 3.
Should one or more teams reach the finals of both tournaments, Liga MX has implemented a formula for ensuring that two teams that qualify via the Apertura and two teams qualify via the Clausura: If the same team wins both the Apertura and the Clausura facing two different teams in the finals of each tournament , then the berth reserved for the Clausura champions is passed to the Clausura runners-up and the berth reserved for the Clausura runners-up is passed to the non-finalists with best record in the Clausura.
If the Apertura runners-up win the Clausura facing two different teams in the finals of each tournament , then the berth reserved for the Apertura runners-up is passed to the non-finalists with best record in the Apertura. If the Apertura champions are runners-up of the Clausura facing two different teams in the finals of each tournament , then the berth reserved for the Clausura runners-up is passed to the non-finalists with best record in the Clausura.
This has not happened since Liga MX began using this qualification procedure. Previous Qualification Tournaments[ edit ].
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