Liga MX delays decision on Clausura 2020 season

Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla (Photo by Angel Castillo/UJam Media/Getty Images)
Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla (Photo by Angel Castillo/UJam Media/Getty Images) /

For a moment, it seemed that the season was certain to be cancelled. Now Liga MX clubs want more details before deciding.

The Clausura 2020 season appeared destined for a premature conclusion, but Liga MX officials have now decided to delay a final decision. Mexican soccer authorities did however announce that upcoming international tournaments have been cancelled.

Soccer fans in Mexico woke up Tuesday to reports that 13 of the 18 Liga MX teams were against resuming the season. The case being made was that a mid-July restart would see the Clausura bump right up against the start of the Apertura 2020 in late summer.

By noon Tuesday, ESPN was reporting that only three teams were against finishing the season and six teams were asking for more information. Liga MX clubs are preparing to meet with Health Secretariat officials on Wednesday before re-scheduling the owners meeting.

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The Covid-19 virus has yet to peak in Mexico and six teams are located in hot spots (five in central Mexico and Mexico City and the sixth in Tijuana) and would likely not even be allowed to play in their home stadiums. Another – Santos Laguna – has been told by Coahuila state officials that permission to play in their stadium will not be granted.

The federal government just this week started loosening restrictions with the expectation of re-opening certain sectors of its economy on June 1. Mexico’s pandemic procedures – especially testing – have been criticized as insufficient.

The guidelines laid out thus far would see Liga MX re-opening club facilities around June 12 which would allow for a July 10 re-start.

League officials have said that if the season resumed all seven remaining games would be played and a full 8-team playoff would be scheduled.

Also this week, team captains met with the AMFPro players union to voice their concerns. Sports daily Record reported that the consensus among captains is that players are willing to return so long as health risks are mitigated and clear protocols are in place.

One team pushing for resumption of the Clausura 2020 is the Chivas. Players reported to team facilities on Monday for testing and light physical training. Cruz Azul – the current league leader after 10 games played – is also in favour of getting back in the pitch. Cementeros players are expected to undergo testing in the coming days.

The Pumas are also vocal supporters of finishing the season. Cruz Azul and the Pumas play in Mexico City, far-and-away the hardest hit area of the nation.

Liga MX officials will meet on Wednesday as scheduled but the only item on the agenda is the development of the new developmental league that will replace the Ascenso MX.

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On Tuesday, Liga MX joined with MLS to announce that the 2020 Leagues Cup, the 2020 Campeones Cup and this summer’s MLS-Liga MX All-Star game have been cancelled.