Mexico suspends league as clubs open grounds to aid earthquake relief

September 22 – Mexican football is on a hold as domestic clubs have rallied to offer aid relief after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake killed more than 200 people and inflicted mass devastation in Mexico. 

In the last couple of hours the death toll from the powerful earthquake has risen to 273. Mexican president  Enrique Peña Nieto said that rescuing and attending to those injured by Tuesday’s magnitude quake would remain “the highest priority”.

The natural disaster has also paralyzed the local game. Clubs have offered their support and assistance to victims, with Leon, Pachuca, Veracruz, Monterrey, Necaxa, Santos Laguna, Puebla and Atlas all opening up their stadiums and facilities to the public, with people urged to bring essential and non-perishable goods for those affected by the earthquake.

Fans from heated rivals Chivas and Atlas united in Guadalajara to donate goods at the Ninos Heroes monument in the city after a call was made on social media.

In midweek the Liga MX Clubs in Mexico City, Club America, Cruz Azul and Pumas, suspended their normal activities as football become a low priority. This weekend’s fixtures are also in doubt.

“All the clubs are doing their bit,” said league president Enrique Bonilla. “We would like to bring people a moment of joy, but it is a more complex decision, and we need to have all the information from authorities.”

The iconic Aztecs Stadium in Mexico City is not being used as a relief centre. Officials confirmed that an initial inspection of the venue suggests it suffered just minor damage. The Azteca was due to host Chivas and America this weekend.

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