Liga MX return from coronavirus unclear as clubs seek information
Liga MX will meet with Mexico's health authorities on Wednesday to discuss the future of the suspended 2020 Clausura season, with a growing number of clubs open to canceling the tournament due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, according to sources.
Liga MX clubs are hoping that the meetings with health authorities this week will bring more clarity about when it may be possible to start training and play matches again.
Under Mexico's two seasons-per-year league model, the upcoming 2020 Apertura season would've started in mid-to-late July under normal circumstances, while there would still be seven rounds of regular season matches to play of the Clausura, plus the eight-team playoff, if the season is resumed.
The Liga MX 2020 Clausura was suspended on March 15 and the clubs were adamant that the season should be completed in its entirety in order to reduce losses as much as possible, with early July penciled in as a realistic target to return.
But as of Monday evening the Mexican government had confirmed 51,633 cases and 5,332 deaths from coronavirus and again urged residents to remain at home.
Teams aren't yet back in training and the Mexican government announced that the gradual reopening after June 1 will be done on a state-by-state basis, although there have been significant regional differences in confirmed coronavirus cases.
"There's not one owner, player, coach or direct that doesn't want Liga MX to resume," Santos Laguna owner Alejandro Irarragorri told ESPN's John Sutcliffe. "In my opinion, we are all looking for the best option for health, the fans, the sponsors, television and our collaborators. In no scenario is there a simple situation."
ESPN sources indicated that as of Monday evening there were seven clubs in favor of holding out for a return, three in favor of cancelation and six awaiting more information about possible scenarios for return, although the situation is fluid.
"It's difficult," Pachuca's sporting director Marco Garces told ESPN on Monday. "It depends a lot on the information coming out of the health department. What are they going to suggest? How will everything be settled if it is canceled?"
"What is a fact is that the more time goes by, the more difficult it will be to resume because the new season gets closer, back-to-back games, injuries ... I need more information," continued Garces.
Chivas players returned to the club's training center on Monday morning to take COVID-19 tests in order to prepare for a possible return to training, with the state of Jalisco only reporting 884 cases of the coronavirus.
Information from ESPN Mexico's Omar Flores, Leon Lecanda, and Rene Tovar was used in this report.