With Major League Soccer announcing a 30-day suspension of their season Thursday because of the coronavirus, Mexico’s top soccer leagues were primed to be the closest outlet to play games in front of fans.
On Saturday afternoon, Liga MX reversed course in a preventive measure against the virus by agreeing to hold men’s and women’s top division games behind a closed-door policy to fans. The men’s top division Liga MX, along with the Liga MX Femenil women’s division and second men’s division Ascenso MX, will play to empty stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Four men’s games on Saturday and three more on Sunday will be closed to the public. Two Liga MX men’s games had been played Friday, with one match featuring Club Tijuana’s 3-2 victory over Pachuca broadcast last night on Fox Sports 2.
“The LIGA MX/ASCENSO MX reports that, as a preventive and prudent measure, the Ministry of Health of the Federal Government and the League agreed that the matches of Day 10 of the LIGA BBVA MX and LIGA BBVA MX Women, Day 8 of ASCENSO BBVA MX, as well as the Basic Forces Tournaments, will be played behind closed doors,” a Liga MX statement said.
“We will continue in constant communication with the Ministry of Health to attend to their recommendations and, of course, health and prevention measures will continue to be carried out in the stadiums for players, club staff and the media.”
Liga MX’s announcement to play games without any fans present was a similar policy to the ones expected to be enacted by Germany’s Bundesliga and France’s Ligue One for this weekend’s games. But those leagues reversed course on Friday to suspend the season until further notice.
The Premier League in England was scheduled to play in front of fans, but then suspended all matches after an emergency meeting held on Friday afternoon once news came out that Arsenal manager Mike Arteta and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The only European leagues currently playing are the Russian Premier League and the Super League of Turkey.