Mexico’s Liga MX has canceled its Clausura 2020 tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic as club owners couldn’t come to terms on conditions to safely return to play. The league announced the end of the season on Friday. Though Cruz Azul sat at the top of the regular season table, a champion will not be crowned.
This comes after the league has been hit hard by COVID-19. First we saw the league’s president Enrique Bonilla, and on Thursday, Santos Laguna had eight players test positive for the coronavirus, which certainly hurt the chances of play returning.
With 17 games for each team in the regular season, all teams had played just 10 games. Mexico’s first division has a playoff to decide the champion following the regular season, pitting the top eight teams in an eight-team tournament. That’s another 14 matches on top of the 63 regular season games remaining.
The decision to have the competition called off comes down to timing in relation to next season starting on time or nearly on time. The Mexican league runs two different mini league competitions per season — the Apertura and Clausura. The Apertura typically begins in July and goes through December. With all of the remaining games left, it would be nearly impossible for the league to finish out this current season and then quickly begin next season, especially with no deal on proper conditions, not to mention not having proper rest or preseason training. It’s still unclear if the next Apertura will be able to start on time in July.
Liga MX becomes the first major league in the Western Hemisphere to have its season called off. It’s worth noting that this weekwith Liga MX and other competitions such as Campeones Cup and Leagues Cup for 2020. In Europe, we’ve seen the Dutch and French leagues abandoned as a result of government decisions banning sporting events for the time being.