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 By Tom Marshall

Mexican football suspends normal activities, rallies after earthquake

Estadio Azteca
Mexican football has halted in order for the country to recover from an earthquake.

Mexican clubs have rallied to aid the relief effort after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake caused devastation in Mexico City and surrounding states on Tuesday.

More than 200 people died as buildings collapsed, with all midweek Copa MX matches postponed as the country recovers.

First division clubs like Leon, Pachuca, Veracruz, Monterrey, Necaxa, Santos Laguna, Puebla and Atlas set up collection points in their stadiums or facilities, with the public urged to bring essential and non-perishable goods for those affected by the earthquake.

Liga MX clubs in Mexico City -- Club America, Cruz Azul and Pumas -- have suspended their normal activities for Wednesday.

Chivas defender Jair Pereira -- who is from Morelos, one of the states most affected -- said football was a low priority at this difficult moment, after he found out the cup game against Guadalajara rival Atlas had been suspended.

"I don't think it's the moment to even mention football," said Pereira inside the team's hotel. "We're going through something really sad for our country and the only thing is for all Mexicans to unite in prayer and obviously help however we can."

Rival Chivas and Atlas fans came together in Guadalajara and responded to a call on social media to donate goods at the Ninos Heroes monument in the city.

Mexico national team players like Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez expressed their solidarity with those affected by the earthquake, as did FIFA and various federations around the world.

The general director of Mexico's Sports Institute said Tuesday that there was no damage done to the Liga MX stadiums in the nation's capital, although there has been no official announcement as yet as to whether weekend Liga MX matches will be played.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.

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