CONCACAF Women's U-17 Championships canceled over civil unrest in Nicaragua
The 2018 CONCACAF Women's U-17 Championships in Nicaragua were canceled Sunday over safety concerns during civil unrest in the country.
Anti-government protests entered their fifth day Sunday and the Red Cross reported that at least seven people have died and hundreds have been injured in demonstrations in the capital of Managua. The protest began last week over plans to increase worker contributions to social security and lower pensions. Looting was reported over the weekend and at least two large protest marches were planned Sunday in Managua.
According to a statement from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), the tournament was canceled to "guarantee the safety of the delegations, and all participants and fans" and would be effective immediately.
CONCACAF said it will now determine how this will affect the qualifying process for the Women's World Under-17 Cup this summer in Uruguay.
U.S. Soccer released a statement saying all U.S. players and staff in Nicaragua are "safe and secure" and the group is making arrangements for the athletes, their families and team officials to return to the United States. "Safety and security is our only priority," the U.S. officials said.
The U.S. team defeated Costa Rica 5-0 Friday and was to play Bermuda on Sunday. That match, which would have been the first ever between the U.S. and Bermuda in women's soccer at any level, was canceled.