BOGOTA - Colombia has denied Mexican football clubs Guadalajara and San Luis permission to stage home Libertadores Cup ties in Bogota because of the swine flu outbreak. "This decision has been taken on the recommendation of the World Health Organisation," the Bogota city government's sub-secretary for health Juan Varela told reporters. "The decision has been taken because we are in stage five of a pandemic. The World Health Organisation is very demanding. They say we cannot have events with more than 40 people, when a country or origin of the virus is involved," "Unfortunately the teams come from a positive country and we are following the recommendation." The South American Football Confederation (CSF) earlier announced the teams would stage their home matches at the Campin stadium on May 6 after barring them from playing in Mexico. Guadalajara, Mexico's most popular club, are to due face Brazilian champions Sao Paulo in their second round, first leg tie, while San Luis are due to play Uruguay's Nacional. The swine flu virus has killed up to 176 people in Mexico. The Colombian Football Federation and the CSF have yet to comment on the decision. The Libertadores Cup is the region's equivalent of the European Champions League competition. Mexico is not a CSF member but three teams from the country take part in the Libertadores every year under a special agreement.
1 May 2009
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