12:20 PM ET
Tom MarshallMexico correspondent
The Liga MX 2020 Clausura season has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the league announced Friday.
No champion will be crowned, but Cruz Azul and Leon will qualify for next season’s CONCACAF Champions League.
A league statement read: “In recent weeks, permanent working groups and talks have been held with the federal government’s health department that would allow us to resume the 2020 Clausura responsibly and without putting any member of the soccer family in Mexico at risk.
“However, the time of the [pandemic] that we are living through has caused increasing schedule restrictions, which do not allow us to continue the competition without putting at risk the members of this great family. Therefore, in absolute unity, the Extraordinary Assembly of the LIGA MX agreed to conclude the Liga MX 2020 Clausura for both the men’s and women’s leagues.”
The league was suspended on March 15 after 10 rounds of matches of the Clausura, with seven rounds plus the playoffs still to play.
Liga MX and many clubs had been adamant that the season would be finished in some form, but with the number of coronavirus cases rising in Mexico and Santos Laguna announcing on Thursday that 12 players have tested positive — reportedly the most of any club globally — cancellation became the popular option in the vote by club owners.
Liga MX had been aiming to get back to the field in early July, and club owners had publicly said that cancellation would badly damage finances. The idea of relocating all teams to one city had also been floated.
But with no firm date for the return of sports, even behind closed doors, coming from the Mexican government, the decision was made to cancel.
The upcoming 2020 Apertura season would have started in mid-to-late July under normal circumstances. Mexico has a two-seasons-per-year league model.
Since the Clausura was suspended, the second division Ascenso MX season had been canceled and promotion and relegation from the country’s top two divisions was suspended for six years.
The 2020 Clausura Liga MX youth seasons (under-20s and under-17s) have been replaced by a cup competition to take place at a future date in Toluca.
Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla contracted the coronavirus on March 20 but has since made a full recovery.