Days before action in Liga MX is expected to return, news comes from Cruz Azul that they had eight persons test positive for COVID-19, and an additional seven undetermined after tests were performed to all their players, coaches and staff. News like this are a warning to everyone after Cruz Azul had previously said they had two positive players; now it has grown to eight and the number could be as high as fifteen if all seven undetermined tests turn out to be positive. Cruz Azul is set to play in the preseason Copa GNP por Mexico. They are set to play in Group A set in Mexico City along with America, Pumas and Toluca.
Like many Liga MX clubs, Cruz Azul had tested their players for COVID-19 prior to the start of training. In the first round of tests, they had two positive tests for COVID-19. While the club didn’t announce who the players were, according to the press and comments from one of the players, it came out they were Jonathan Rodriguez and Rafael Baca. In between the tests, Liga MX and TUDN announced there was going to be a friendly preseason cup tournament before the start of the 2020 Apertura. The “Copa GNP por Mexico” would be divided in two groups, with Group A based in Mexico City and Group B in Guadalajara. Cruz Azul was in Group A, set to play in Estadio Olimpico Universitario in Mexico City without fans. Cruz Azul is set to open their tournament on Saturday, July 4th in a match against Pumas. Yet the news of possibly having fifteen players out with COVID-19 will be a severe problem for Cruz Azul and maybe the tournament as a whole. Since it will be the first games after the COVID-19 emergency, there will be no fans in the stands and players will be tested as well before matches. Also because of it being preseason and because of the lack of competition the players have suffered because of the stoppage, there will be no limits on substitutions. Yet even with that possibility, eight having between eight and fifteen players absent is a lot.
Mexico is right now in the highest wave of COVID-19 cases since the start of the global emergency. Mexico has passed the 25,000 deaths mark because of COVID-19. Yet because of the economical hurts in many industries, including football, authorities have decided to bring back and end the “lock down”. Thus, why football is set to be back on Friday even when the conditions in Mexico are a lot worse than when the tournament was cancelled due to “safety”. The news from Cruz Azul though bring up an important problem and might be a reflection that things aren’t ready and playing this kind of tournament will be problematic for the players and teams who want to start getting back to business as usual, when the condition are anything but “usual”.