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Originally published Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 9:26 AM

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Swine flu postpones another CONCACAF tourney

Another soccer tournament in Mexico has been disrupted by concerns over the swine flu.


Another soccer tournament in Mexico has been disrupted by concerns over the swine flu.

CONCACAF announced Tuesday it is postponing its beach soccer championship, scheduled to begin Wednesday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A new date hasn't been set, and soccer's governing body for the North and Central American and Caribbean regions said it is evaluating options with local authorities.

Swine flu has killed more than 150 people in Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak. Schools throughout Mexico have been closed, and restaurants in Mexico City were ordered Tuesday to only serve takeout food in an effort to keep people from gathering in close proximity and spreading the virus.

The top two teams in CONCACAF's beach soccer championship earn spots at FIFA's Beach Soccer World Cup, which begins Nov. 16 in Dubai. The six-team tournament was to begin Wednesday with group play, with the championship game on Sunday.

The Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico and the United States have teams in the tournament.

CONCACAF's decision to postpone the beach tournament comes a day after it canceled the remainder of its under-17 championship and rescheduled the second leg of its Champions League finals for May 12 "to safeguard the health of players, officials and fans."

The semifinals of the under-17 tournament were scheduled for Wednesday in the border city of Tijuana, with the championship game on Saturday. Cruz Azul and Atlante, both Mexican teams, were to play Wednesday in Cancun for the title of CONCACAF's best club team.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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