CONCACAF cancels women’s tournament in Nicaragua due to violence

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) canceled its Under-17 women’s championship on Sunday after political violence spread across the host nation Nicaragua.

Demonstrator throw stones towards riot police during a protest over a controversial reform to the pension plans of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua, Nicaragua April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas

“CONCACAF determined that to guarantee the safety of the delegations, and all participants and fans, the cancellation will apply to all matches and events and take immediate effect,” the ruling body said in a statement.

Only six of the 12 group games had been played but four days of violent street protests against changes in social security left at least six people dead.

The tournament serves as a qualifier for the Under-17 World Cup and CONCACAF said it would rule on qualification procedures at a later date.

Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Ed Osmond