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 By Tom Marshall

Liga MX clubs agree to form women's league to help national team

Mexico's women's team failed to qualify for the Olympics last summer.

The 18 Liga MX clubs have agreed to start an under-23 women's league in order to strengthen the game in Mexico and help El Tri's national teams, Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla says.

Each squad will have 21 players, with the age limit set at the under-23 level. Four players from the under-17 category must be included, and two players over the age limit will also be allowed in each squad.

Foreign players will not be permitted, although Mexico-U.S. dual nationals will be welcomed.

"The women's league was born from an initiative by the FMF [Mexican federation]," Bonilla said in a news conference Monday after the Liga MX owners meeting. "We went to strengthen the women's league to nourish the national teams with stars."

A preliminary cup competition will be played in April or May, and the league is due to start next September, though no information was given on exact dates or where the teams will play.

In other news coming from the owners meeting, it was confirmed that the Liga MX has been approved to be part of a pilot scheme to test out new video technology to aid officials.

"We were approved in the pilot program for the use of video in taking decisions," said Bonilla, adding that it would be used in revising yellow and red cards, goal decisions, penalties and player identity.

There was no talk at the meeting about the controversial 10/8 rule  -- to assure that there are at least eight Mexican-born players in each matchday Liga MX -- with Bonilla stating the conclusions will be made after the rule has been in place two years.

Bonilla also set out his intention to internationalize Liga MX, although he didn't specify in what ways.

"We must work to find new markets so our football can be better known in the rest of the world," Bonilla said.

Finally, the issue of nonpayment of wages at Chiapas was mentioned. Bonilla said the club has until Dec. 28 to pay or face ejection from the league.

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

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