Club America slams Monterrey's handling of coronavirus outbreak

At least 19 Monterrey players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, prompting Liga MX to postpone the club's next two games and a harsh rebuke from the its most recent opponents Club America.

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The outbreak was confirmed just days after Monterrey's 1-0 win against Club America at the BBVA Stadium on Saturday night. Prior to the game, Monterrey kept defender Stefan Medina and forward Aviles Hurtado out of both the starting lineup and the bench.

On Tuesday, reports named Medina and Hurtado as two of the 11 players who tested positive for the virus, along with eight members of the team's coaching and technical staff.

Other Monterrey players from the match who tested positive were goal scorer Rogelio Funes Mori, Cesar Montes, and Maximiliano Meza.

"The persons have been isolated and are under constant observation by the club's medical team, following all of the guidelines set forth by healthcare professionals," the league said.

Club America called Monterrey's outbreak "unfortunate" and confirmed that some of its players were now presenting COVID-19 symptoms. Early reports have signaled goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and midfielder Nicolas Benedetti as those affected.

"Responsibility from all is indispensable to lower COVID-19 contagion," read a statement from Club America posted shortly after the postponements were confirmed. "We consider that Monterrey's first team could have taken additional precautions after finding out some of their players tested positive a day before the match against our club."

In keeping with several leagues around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, players missing games due to the illness has been a constant issue in Liga MX since the league returned to play in late July. A week before facing America, Monterrey's previous opponent, Atlas, announced two players would miss the Guardianes 2021 opener due to positive tests.

As a result of its own outbreak, Monterrey shut down training at its El Barrial site through Friday, adding through a statement that the club would "implement sanitizing actions and a revision of health protocols."

Monterrey's next scheduled match, a home game against Leon, was to be played on Saturday but Liga MX announced it will now happen on March 10. Furthermore, a road clash against Puebla scheduled for Jan. 29 was pushed to Feb. 2.

Club America is scheduled to face FC Juarez on Saturday though no announcements on whether the game can go forward have been made yet.