Colombia closes soccer stadiums for FIFA U-20 preparations

Colombia’s sports governing body, Coldeportes, has ordered the closure of all stadiums to be used for the 2011 FIFA Under-20 soccer World Cup due to heavy rains, Caracol Radio reported Wednesday.

Coldeportes took the decision following the recent heavy rains wreaking havoc across the country. The body fears that if Colombian club sides continue to use the pitches in question during the rainy season, the damage caused will result in problems for the Under-20 tournament, which is scheduled to kick off in July.

The specific stadiums in question are those in Cali, Medellin, Cartagena, Pereira, Barranquilla, Manizales and Bogota.

Bogota is home to Colombian club sides Millonarios, Santa Fe and Equidad so the stadium’s closure will cause complications for these teams, whom,Caracol Radio suggests, may be forced to relocate to elsewhere for the remainder of the season.

Coldeportes director Jairo Clopatovski suggested delaying the Colombian league final until after the World Cup tournament but managers strongly objected.

Even before the arrival of the rainy season, FIFA had expressed concerns about Colombia’s readiness for the competition and the state of its stadiums.

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