Mexico mulls cutting foreigners from domestic league

Mexico City: Mexico, whose younger players impressed at the World Cup, are looking to cut the number of foreigners in the domestic league to increase international opportunities for the country`s juniors.

The cosmpolitan league, whose foreign contingent largely includes South American talent, allows its 18 first division clubs a maximum of five non-Mexican players in their squads.

"We`re working to see how many foreigners are needed per team. We have to think about defending our young Mexicans," Justino Compean, president of the country`s football federation Femexfut, told reporters.

The large number of foreigners in the league has proved controversial, with the national side selecting naturalised players like Argentina-born Guillermo Franco.

Brazil-born Mexico midfielder Antonio Naelson "Sinha" of champions Toluca was voted the best player of last season`s Clausura tournament.

In recent years, the top scorer in the Mexican league has been a Chilean or Argentine and last season Mexico`s Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, now with Manchester United, shared it with American Herculez Gomez and Peru`s Johan Fano.

The performance of Mexico`s younger brigade, including Hernandez and Giovanni dos Santos at the World Cup in South Africa, has raised hopes of a new generation to lead the team at the Brazil finals in 2014.

"I`m aware of the work developed by the 18 clubs, giving youngsters more opportunities. They really care to work more and better and this will help Mexican football to improve institutionally and nationally," interim Mexico coach Efrain Flores said.

Flores, standing in after the resignation of 2010 World Cup trainer Javier Aguirre, will prepare Mexico to host Ecuador and Colombia in friendlies on Saturday and next Tuesday.

Bureau Report