After three days of play in its Under-17 Women's World Cup qualifying tournament at the Nicaragua National Football Stadium in Managua, Concacaf halted the tournament following deadly clashes
triggered by protests to changes in Nicaragua's social security payment systems.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Concacaf said it had determined that to guarantee the safety of the
delegations, and all participants and fans, the tournament needed to be cancelled. No decision was made on what to do about qualifying for the Under-17 Women's World Cup that will be played in late
fall in Uruguay.
Group A completed two matchdays and Mexico and Haiti had already clinched the top two berths with wins over host Nicaragua and Puerto Rico. The USA opened Group B with a
4-0 win over Costa Rica on Friday. It was scheduled to play Bermuda on Sunday in Managua. The two semifinal winners and third-place winner will qualify for the Under-17 Women's World Cup.
President Daniel Ortega said on Sunday that the social security administration had cancelled the changes put in place last Monday to cut benefits and increase tax payments.
Protests turned into deadly clashes and looting that continued into Sunday in Managua. At least 26 people were killed. A reporter was shot and killed in the Caribbean town of Bluefields while doing a
Facebook Live newscast.
In 2009, Concacaf cancelled the knockout stage of its
Under-17 Men's Championship in Tijuana because of a swine flu outbreak in Mexico.
Statement from U.S. Soccer:
"U.S. Soccer officials have notified all the families of our players that our team and staff in Nicaragua are safe and secure. We have made arrangements for the return to the United States of our
team delegation and have also provided services and accommodations for all of the families that traveled to Nicaragua to assist them in returning home as well. Safety and security is our only priority
as we continue to work with Concacaf on all matters related to the cancellation of the Women's U-17 Championship."