ASUNCION - Mexican teams San Luis and Guadalajara have been given the go-ahead to play their upcoming Libertadores Cup matches at home if their opponents accept, the South American Football Confederation (CSF) said on Thursday. The two teams had previously been barred from playing their second round, first leg games in Mexico because of the swine flu outbreak. The CSF said it made its decision after the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) ruled on Wednesday that fans could watch next weekend's domestic games. "The matches can be held without any restriction on Wednesday, May 13 in the respective stadiums of San Luis and Chivas (Guadalajara)," said the CSF in a statement. San Luis are due to meet Nacional of Uruguay while Guadalajara face Brazilian champions Sao Paulo. CSF spokesman Nestor Benitez later added that Nacional and Sao Paulo were not obliged to travel to Mexico. "If they accept, the matches can be played in Mexico because of the improvement in the situation which the Mexican federation has reported," he said. The CSF had originally wanted the games to be played in Bogota but Colombian authorities vetoed the proposal. Chile also refused to allow Santiago to be used as an alternative venue. Mexico has started to chug back into normal life after a five-day shutdown aimed at curbing the spread of the H1N1 virus, although restrictions are still in place. Cinemas are required to leave two seats empty between customers, and restaurants have to limit their hours and cannot seat more than four people at a table. Mexico City's public transportation network has taken to disinfecting coins. Last weekend's domestic football programme went ahead but all the games were played behind closed doors, lending them an eerie atmosphere and costing the clubs thousands of dollars in lost gate receipts. On Monday, the CSF suspended Guadalajara defender Hector Reynoso from the Libertadores Cup after he blew nasal secretions and coughed at an opponent during a match away to Everton in Chile.
7 May 2009
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