MLS extends hiatus until 'at least June 8'

FC Dallas are out of Major League Soccer's return tournament after 10 players and a member of technical staff tested positive for COVID-19 (AFP Photo/Patrick Smith) (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Major League Soccer won't resume before June 8 the league said on Friday, and is exploring multiple scenarios for completing the 2020 season.

The league is also discussing changes to player compensation because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic that has brought sports to a standstill worldwide.

"We are seeking to work collaboratively with the MLS Players Association to find a solution that provides a safety net for all players, opportunity to earn full salary in the scenario where all matches are played with fans, and in particular provides protection for the players at the lower end of the salary scale," the league said in a statement.

ESPN reported Friday that the league has suggested most of its players take as much as a 50% pay cut in a shortened season -- depending on how many matches must be cancelled.

Playing games without fans in attendance could also affect the extent of player paycuts, the sports site reported, although to what degree remains unknown.

MLS has been on hiatus since March 12, and had already acknowledged earlier this week that it's hoped for return in mid-May looked "extremely unlikely."

"MLS remains focused on exploring a wide variety of formats for playing the entire 2020 season including pushing back the MLS Cup into December or later," the league said Friday.

"Based on the most recent government guidance, we have extended the moratorium on matches until at least June 8."