Pablo Guede, coach of Club Tijuana, was unable to be on the sideline for his team’s 2-1 loss on Sunday to Cruz Azul after testing positive for COVID-19. However, he gave a team talk and at half-time via Zoom.
Tijuana, aka Xolos, is a Mexican professional football club based in Tijuana.
Guede was one of seven positive cases at Xolos. They were announced COVID-19 positive only hours before the game. Guede immediately went into quarantine but he was able to influence the match from his home.
Tijuana stand-in coach Ignacio Ruvalcaba said, “[Guede] did the team talk, I was just the spokesperson. He connected via Zoom from his house and he gave the instructions analyzing the game.”
Ruvalcaba also said that apart from talking with the team on Zoom, Guede was involved in the substitutions.
“The changes were on coach Pablo’s indications,” Ruvalcaba added. “I was on the field transmitting the coach’s ideas and he made the changes based on the analysis of what he was seeing from his home watching the game … it was logical, I didn’t want that freedom to make them.”
Four Tijuana players were tested positive for COVID-19 before the game. Two players from Cruz Azul were also tested positive, bringing the total number of cases in Liga MX men’s first team players to 101.
The first cases were reported on May 20, with eight positives at Santos Laguna. Since then, all clubs, except Pachuca, have registered COVID-19 cases, with Santos having the most (19 cases), followed by Cruz Azul (16) and FC Juarez (10).
Last May, Liga MX canceled the 2020 Clausura tournament but the 2020 Guard1anes season began behind closed doors on July 23.
However, the Mexican first division has continued amid the positive results, isolating players and allowing them to return to training if only they had produced a negative result. So far, ten rounds of matches have been played in the season, with undefeated Pumas UNAM in the first place and Cruz Azul with the second.