Health concerns hit CONCACAF

Because of growing concerns about the outbreak and risks associated with swine flu in Mexico, CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer has announced that the semi-finals and final of the region's U-17 Championship, scheduled for this week in Tijuana, will be cancelled.

With nationwide school closings, CONCACAF has decided to follow the lead of the Mexican government in order to safeguard the health of players, fans and those involved in the staging of the junior competition, the confederation said by way of a press release on Monday.

With the group stages over, four teams from the North, Central American and Caribbean zone have already qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009. Mexico, USA, Honduras and Costa Rica will take part in the finals in West Africa later this year, but the semi-finals and finals - which would have decided the region's champion - have been officially called off.

Also, the second-leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final series between Cruz Azul and Atlante, scheduled for Wednesday in Cancun, will be postponed until Tuesday 12 May. Atlante lead the series 2-0 from their opening win in Mexico City last Wednesday. The winner will represent the region at this year's FIFA Club World Cup in UAE.

The CONCACAF Beach Championship in Puerto Vallarta - the qualifying tournament for this year's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Dubai - was scheduled to begin Wednesday in Puerto Vallarta but has been postponed indefinitely due to the growing concerns of swine flu in the country