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 By Tom Marshall

Liga MX re-institutes youth rule that helped develop Javier Hernandez, Andres Guardado

Liga MX will introduce a rule designed to give younger players more opportunities in Mexico's first division, the league announced on Wednesday.

Each of the 18 clubs will have to give at least 765 minutes to players born in 1997 or after during the 2018 Apertura regular season. For the Clausura 2019, players born in 1998 or after will have to make up 1000 minutes, although those born in 1997 can count for up to 50 percent of those.

The decision comes after concerns that younger players weren't getting enough opportunities in Liga MX and closely follows the old 20/11 rule, which was enforced between 2005 and 2011 and is considered to have aided the development of current Mexico internationals like Javier Hernandez, Hector Moreno and Andres Guardado.

That rule stated that players of 20 years and 11 months or less should complete 1000 minutes for each club, each season and did stipulate that there would be a three point penalty for clubs that didn't comply. There was no clarification in the new rule as to whether the points sanction will once again be implemented.

Liga MX also announced that Lobos BUAP will remain in the first division. The Puebla-based club had been relegated, but because the club that won the right to promotion, Cafetaleros de Tapachula, didn't meet the Liga MX entry requirements, Lobos BUAP were able to pay a fine of 120 million pesos ($6.5 million) to keep their place in the league.

In Liga MX Femenil, under-17 eligible players will have to accumulate 1000 minutes each season for each team, while the age limit went up from under-23 to under-24, with each side allowed to register four players over that age, although only two can be on the field at the same time.

Mexico's women's league will also be expanded, with Puebla and Lobos BUAP adding teams for the first time. The Liga MX Femenil playoff will also include a quarterfinal stage starting from next season, although there was nothing new on players born outside of Mexico being allowed to feature.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.


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