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Liga MX in limbo as Tampico Madero's Cesar Bernal first virus case in Mexico

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Tampico Madero's Cesar Bernal became the first Mexican footballer to test positive for COVID-19 this week, amid the Mexican government's efforts to spell out the steps to the resumption of professional sports.

Bernal, 25, was set to undergo a knee operation and took the coronavirus test beforehand as a precaution.

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"Although the player is asymptomatic, he is already in isolation following the necessary medical treatment," read a statement from second division Tampico Madero. "Also, we are following up with those closest to him."

The result comes as the Mexican government set out its plan for the country's reactivation on Wednesday morning, with Liga MX silent so far on any possible return date.

The return to work and school in Mexico will be gradual and determined by a state-by-state traffic light system, depending on when and where new cases are found.

Six of the 18 Liga MX clubs are located in states which are currently "red" with rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, posing a potential problem, although the government in Mexico City -- the most affected area -- announced on Wednesday that sporting events without spectators could return on June 15 at the earliest.

Liga MX was pinning its hopes on a return to action in early July and is determined to complete the 2020 Clausura season in its entirety, which has been made easier with the postponement of FIFA's international dates this summer.

Mexican clubs have been on hold since the end of round 10 of matches came to a conclusion on March 15. As of Tuesday evening, there were 38,324 confirmed coronavirus cases in Mexico.

Promotion and relegation between the top two division has been put on hold for six years since the crisis began, and sources have told ESPN Mexico's Rene Tovar that some Liga MX clubs that had originally deferred a percentage of wage payment to players are currently considering whether they will be able to pay the players in full given the loss of income.

The sources indicated that Club America, Cruz Azul, Chivas, Tigres and Monterrey are exceptions, but that the majority of other clubs may be forced to negotiate salary reductions with players.