Split between Mexican league and FMF 

May, 3, 2012

The biggest news in Mexican youth football last week didn't come from a player or a team. Instead, it was the impending break of the FMF and the Mexican league that made news, clouding the otherwise bright future of Mexico's emerging talent factory.

It's a poorly kept secret that the Mexican league (LMF) has been run over the years by the Mexican Federation, which regulates competition, discipline and other matters. But Mexican club owners, always looking abroad for a better model, have noticed that there's a ton of money to be made by changing things up a bit. The elite club of owners knows very well they can do that without the FMF looking over their extraordinarily well-dressed shoulders at every turn.

What does that have to do with youth football, and more specifically Mexico's recent, stunning run of form in youth competitions across the board? Plenty.

Youth development is a priority and prerogative of the federation, not the clubs or the league. When the two entities are separated, the federation loses its most powerful tool for ensuring that youth is properly prioritized in Mexico. With the clubs making their own rules based more on profit and loss, or prestige, than the good of the Mexican game, a number of possible obstacles to the continued development of Mexican youth emerge.

Brent Latham is a soccer commentator who covers the youth national teams for ESPN.com. Based in Guatemala, he has attended youth World Cups from Peru to Egypt, and places in between.