May 01, 2009

Add Colombia to the growing list of nations that want nothing to do with Mexico.

The Mexican Football Federation and CONMEBOL had reached an apparent agreement for Mexican clubs Guadalajara and San Luis to host Copa Libertadores matches in Bogota. But because of the swine flu outbreak that originated in Mexico, the Colombian government slammed the door on the arragnement.

"We're not enemies of football; we love the sport," Colombian Health Secretary Hector Zambrano said. "But in this moment, what matters most is public safety."

The swine flu has claimed more than 150 lives and affected more than 2,000 people in Mexico, according to published reports, but has spread across the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised its pandemic alert to a rating of five, with the highest level of six a full-blown pandemic.

According to the World Health Organization, 11 nations have confirmed cases of the swine flu, but Colombia is not one of them. And Colombian officials apparently are not taking any chances with allowing Mexican clubs to participate in matches on their soil.

Argentina has also shunned Mexico and has suspended all air travel with Mexico.

Guadalajara played a league match in Mexico City and traveled directly to Santiago, Chile, afterward for a game against Everton. Chivas players said they were treated anything but kindly by the Chileans as players claimed they were jeered, ridiculed and harassed while out in public.

There was no immediate plans for games involving Chivas and San Luis. FMF President Justino Compean had said his first option was to play games as normal followed by playing games in Mexico with the doors closed to the public and thirdly an alternative site. With the apparent third option now in danger, it remains to be seen whether or not the clubs will be able to participate at all.

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