Coronavirus: Liga MX mulls return dates for July as COVID crisis grows

Battle of the Soccer Leagues: Will Prem be too much for Liga MX? (1:42)

Mark Ogden's Premier League XI square off vs. Tom Marshall's Liga MX in Matchday 1. (1:42)

Liga MX has been given the green light to return behind closed doors by the Mexican government, even as the COVID-19 crisis continues in Mexico.

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The league itself has not confirmed when the 2020 Apertura season may start, following the cancelation of the 2020 Clausura, although July 17 and July 24 have both been reported as possible dates to get Mexico's first division up and running again.

"We've been working with the Liga MX and other sports authorities and like what's been done in other countries we consider that [a return] could be done in a very controlled way if the public is not allowed, behind closed doors, with television audience," said Mexico's coronavirus expert Hugo Lopez-Gatell in a press conference on Tuesday morning.

"We'd be talking about an activity that in sanitary terms would be of high risk of contagion if there were spectators," he continued. "However, behind closed doors, without public, the activity can be carried out and it's considered that it would be useful from an economic perspective."

The potential return of soccer comes a week after Mexico recorded more than 1,000 deaths in a 24-hour period on June 3, although they may not have all occurred on the same day. The first week of June was the worst to date for the country, which gradually began to open more essential activities from June 1.

Liga MX club Toluca announced seven positive COVID-19 tests on Monday from a total of 70 carried out on employees of the club, while Monterrey also confirmed one positive case.

Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla was confirmed to have the coronavirus on March 20 and Santos Laguna reported a total of 15 cases late last month, which pushed Liga MX towards canceling the 2020 Clausura.

Mexico's first division owners are set to meet via video on Wednesday and could announce the start date of the new season, with ESPN confirming Tuesday that all 18 Liga MX clubs have received a five-phase protocol to get back on the field and play games.

Phase One of the document states that players and staff must be tested for COVID-19 and the process gradually builds up to playing games under sanitized conditions, including no visits from family or friends, sealing kits after games and traveling wearing gloves and face masks.

Since Liga MX play was halted back in March, promotion and relegation has been suspended for six years; the second division has been reformatted and Monarcas Morelia's owners have moved the club to Mazatlan on Mexico's Pacific Coast.

There are also reports Queretaro could be sold by Grupo Caliente, which could also be confirmed at the owners' meeting on Wednesday.