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Swine Flu Causes Cancellation of Regional Football Championship Matches

This week's CONCACAF regional youth football (soccer) championship matches in Mexico have been called off because of a deadly swine flu outbreak in the North American nation.

Officials of the North and Central America and Caribbean, CONCACAF, regional football governing body say the Under-17 matches in Tijuana were canceled to "safeguard the health of players, officials and fans."

Mexican health officials said Monday that more than 150 people in the country have died of the swine flu virus in recent days.

The canceled U-17 semifinals and final matches would have decided seeding among the FIFA U-17 World Cup qualifiers - Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and the United States. That tournament is later this year in Nigeria.

CONCACAF also rescheduled Wednesday's second leg of the region's Champions League final between Mexican teams Cruz Azul and Atlante to May 12 in Cancun, Mexico. Atlante leads the two-game series after winning the first leg, 2-0.

The CONCACAF Champions League winner will play in the FIFA Club World Cup later this year in the United Arab Emirates.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.