Liga MX sets July dates for Apertura 2020 with expanded playoffs

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The Liga MX 2020 Apertura will begin on July 24 behind closed doors with a new playoff system in place, while Queretaro has been sold, league president Enrique Bonilla announced on Wednesday in a video press conference.

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The Apertura final is scheduled for Dec. 12, confirmed Bonilla, following a meeting of Liga MX club owners earlier Wednesday, with the league starting up again in line with a five-stage sanitary protocol that has been designed alongside clubs.

The new playoff system will see the top four clubs in the regular season advance to the quarterfinals, while fifth place down to 12th will play a elimination round of games to decide the other four quarterfinalists.

The elimination round will be one game only, with the team highest in the table hosting and penalties to decide which team goes through in case of a draw after 90 minutes. Fifth place will play against 12th, sixth versus 11th etcetera.

The meeting of Liga MX owners also confirmed that Monarcas Morelia will relocate to Mazatlan and that Queretaro has been sold by Grupo Caliente to Gabriel Solares, with the club remaining in the city of Queretaro.

Bonilla added that the Copa MX final between Club Tijuana and Monterrey will be played on Sept. 16 and Sept. 23.

Bonilla didn't mention anything about the second division, with promotion and relegation between Mexico's top two leagues suspended for six years. There's still been no confirmation of how many teams will be involved, what age limit restraints could be included or when it will start.

In other news coming out of the Liga MX meeting, clubs will have to draw up contracts in Mexican pesos -- as opposed to U.S. dollars as some clubs used -- and players will also be responsible along with clubs for tax payments.

The Liga MX president rejected the suggestion that a salary cap could be introduced into the league and confirmed that the idea is to eventually end multi-club ownership through attracting fresh investment into the league.

Bonilla also said that CONCACAF wants to finish the Champions League so a club from the region has the possibility of playing in the Club World Cup.