15.03.2020 23:49 h

Mexican football suspended over coronavirus concerns

The Mexican football league announced Sunday it would suspend first and second-division play and women's competition in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It has been decided to suspend all matches of Liga MX (first), Ascenso BBVA MX (second) and the Liga MX Women's based on the general recommendations of the Federal Government's Health Secretariat, with whom Liga MX has coordinated closely," the league's executive president said in a statement.

The suspension came into effect on Sunday night after the conclusion of the match between America and Cruz Azul that closed the 10th round of season and was played behind closed doors.

The closure will remain in effect "until further notice" and resumption of activities will be determined in coordination with Mexican government health authorities.

Measures to safeguard the health of players and fans have been steadily ramped up over the course of several days.

As of last Wednesday, Liga MX and Ascenso MX were scheduled to carry out their weekend matches normally with spectators in the stands. The handshakes between players and officials was to be prohibited and no children were to take part in pre-game ceremonies.

Two first division matches were played on Friday with spectators in the stands before a decision was made Saturday to banish fans but go ahead with matches.

The last time that closed-door matches were played in Mexico due to a public health problem was during the swine flu outbreak of 2009.