Swine flu has rocked Mexico and soccer has been affected importantly all throughout CONCACAF. The U-17 regional tournament being held in Tijuana was canceled amid the fears of the promulgation of the pathology as the country finds the eyes of the world placed squarely on them.
The amount of deaths in Mexico caused by swine flu is nearing 200 deaths. So when the Mexican government announced it was closing schools nationwide, CONCACAF said Monday it would abandon the tournament “to safeguard the health of players, officials and fans.”
Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States had clinched spots in the semifinals of the tournament.
The semifinals of the U-17 tournament were scheduled for Wednesday in Tijuana, with the championship and third-place matches on Saturday. All four teams will advance to the U-17 World Cup, scheduled from Oct. 24-Nov. 15 in Nigeria.
CONCACAF also postponed the return leg of the Champions League finals until May 12. Cruz Azul and Atlante FC, both Mexican teams, were to play Wednesday in CancÃºn for the title of CONCACAF’s best club team. Currently Atlante are ahead in the aggregate score 2-0 after winning in Mexico City last week.
CONCACAF will decide Tuesday whether to proceed with its beach championship, scheduled for Wednesday through Sunday in Puerto Vallarta.
Mexico City will continue with its restrictions to help avoid the spread of the swine flu epidemic. Three matches were played behind closed doors last weekend, and all signs point towards there being a repeat of the same. Cruz Azul stated it would do the same for this coming Saturday’s match against Indios Juarez.
The Mexican national team has also closed its training sessions inside of its compex in the southern part of Mexico City. El Tri are scheduled to host Trinidad and Tobago in a World Cup qualifying match June 10 at the Estadio Azteca and there it is still too soon to see if that match will be rescheduled.