LONDON: The 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico could be the catalyst for a combined club league, according to the ceo of the Liga MX.
Enrique Bonilla was speaking at a Leaders conference at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge four months after world federation FIFA voted to assign the 2026 finals to the central/north American hosting consortium.
Mexican clubs have won all 10 editions of the CONCACAF Champions League but revenues for global TV rights and sponsorship across north America pale in comparison to the top leagues of Europe.
Bonilla thought the balance could be changed by a new combined continental top-flight division, even if that meant flying over the border wall planned by US President Donald Trump.
He said: “It’s a possibility, a North American league. We have to determine how and see the pros and cons but I think that’s a way to grow and to compete again.#
“If we can make a World Cup then we can make a north American league or a north American cup. The main idea is that we have to grow together to compete. If not, there is only going to be the rich guys in Europe and the rest of the world.”
“We think this opportunity with the World Cup in 2026 opens the door for us to make a lot of things different and better,” he added.
Earlier this year, the MLS in the U.S. and Liga MX launched a partnership which included the introduction of the Campeones Cup, a match between the winners of each respective leagues.
The inaugural edition last month saw Mexico’s Tigres UANL beat Toronto FC 3-1.
Mexican clubs have been reluctant to accept an invitation to enter the South American Copa Libertadores because of the long-distance travel involved.
But Bonilla said: “We need to get out of our region. We have to go out more. The problem that we have is distance. Coming to Europe is quite difficult for our teams in getting there, and going down to South America is a long way also.
“So, it’s quite difficult and what we have to do is we have to join forces with the MLS to get stronger together and then we can think of competing with Europe.
“Then we can have a strong market that can give us the resources to compete with the big financial market that is Europe.”