Soccer coronavirus: The rise in contagions of covid-19 forces Liga MX to modify its calendar

Tigres footballer André-Pierre Gignac during a match against Santos Laguna.
Tigres footballer André-Pierre Gignac during a match against Santos Laguna.Jam Media (Getty Images)

The contagions of covid-19 hit Mexican soccer again. Liga MX has decided to postpone two of the matches of the first date of the Mexican championship that starts this weekend. Santos Laguna-Tigres will be rescheduled due to 12 infections in the feline team and the Pumas-Toluca match remains on the air, due to an outbreak. Among all the members of the Mexican tournament, 39 active positive cases have been registered, with data from the competition itself updated on January 3. In the women’s league, 13 positives have been reported.

The top commanders of Liga MX updated their health protocols in the last week of December, before the rebound in covid-19 cases in Mexico. They asked all the footballers to undergo PCR tests after the weeks of vacation. The test They will be held 72 hours before each game. The League made it clear that if a team has between seven and 10 infected footballers, their match can be rescheduled on the same weekend; however, if a club has 10 or more infected, the game can be changed to another date. In the case of Toluca, there are up to eleven infected soccer players, according to Televisa. The authorities must wait for the results of new tests that will be released this Thursday to determine whether or not the game to be played this Sunday at noon is postponed or not. Santos-Tigres was to be played this Saturday (7:00 p.m.) and will be held on Wednesday, January 12.

This Tuesday, Mexico registered more than 15,000 new cases of covid-19 after the weeks of holidays for Christmas and New Year, in what, by figures, means a rebound in infections. The Mexican government has ensured that the number of hospitalizations has not increased.

During 2020, Liga MX had to be suspended in the first months of the pandemic. At the peak of contagion, the tournament began on July 24 and since then no match has been suspended. Positive cases of covid-19 have been presented in each of the 18 clubs. Los Xolos de Tijuana presented up to 30 infected, between players and staff, in September 2020. Mexican managers and all their regulations depend, as in the rest of the world, on soccer players complying with the protocols and avoiding family gatherings that put them at risk .

The stoppage due to the health emergency meant a loss of 77 million dollars for each of the clubs. As of January last year, teams have spent up to $ 5 million on PCR testing to detect infections. In April 2020, the top management of the teams made official the disappearance of the rise and fall in Mexican soccer due to the economic crisis of small clubs. In its place there is a development league where 24 positive cases have been detected as of January 3 of this year.

In the case of fans in stadiums, Liga MX will depend on the decision of the state governments. So far, all teams are contemplating opening the stands to fans. In the last final between Atlas and León, the authorities allowed 90% of the capacity.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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