Cruzeiro told to compete in Argentina

RIO DE JANEIRO - Cruzeiro have been told they must play the first leg of the Libertadores Cup final against Estudiantes in La Plata despite the H1N1 flu outbreak in Argentina that has claimed at least 60 lives.

"The health authorities in the Argentine Republic have not prohibited any sporting activity, specifically football," the South American Football Confederation (CSF) said in a statement sent to the Brazilian football body CBF.

Cruzeiro, who postponed their trip to Buenos Aires until Tuesday, had sought a new CSF decision as the death toll in Argentina rose ahead of Wednesday night's match and several provinces declared a state of emergency.

The Brazilian club will convert a whole floor of their hotel in Buenos Aires into a bunker until they have to travel to La Plata by bus for the match with players prohibited from leaving in their free time, Argentine media reported.

The CSF, which had first confirmed the match on Friday, pointed out that the Argentine league championship decider went ahead in Buenos Aires on Sunday with a crowd of 50,000 at Velez Sarsfield, who beat Huracan 1-0 to win the Clausura title.

However, other sports bodies have suspended all activity, including the Buenos Aires Top 14 rugby championship which had been scheduled to start last Saturday and other team sports.

The CSF did not suspend Libertadores Cup matches due to be played in Mexico when the flu strain broke out there earlier this year but gave South American teams the choice as to whether they should travel there. Uruguayan and Brazilian players refused to go and the Mexican clubs withdrew from the competition.


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