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Rediff.com  » Sports » Shakira gets priority over football

Shakira gets priority over football

May 07, 2007 19:17 IST

Mexican side Necaxa have been forced to move Thursday's Libertadores Cup tie at home to Nacional because their stadium is to be used for a concert by pop star Shakira.

Necaxa, who go into the third-round second leg tie against the Uruguayans with a 3-2 deficit, will stage the match at Mexico City's Azteca stadium, around 600 kilometres from their base in Aguascalientes.

The club said on their website that the move is due to logistical problems.

However, Mexican media said that Shakira is due to give a concert at the La Vitoria stadium on Friday and it would take more than 24 hours to prepare the arena. The Colombian singer's website confirmed the show.

Necaxa's compatriots America also face problems as they travel to Chile for the second leg of their match against Colo Colo on Tuesday.

Faced with an overloaded fixture list and leading 3-0 from the first leg, America have taken a calculated risk by resting eight first-team players for the long flight south.

The Eagles also have to face Atlas in a two-leg Mexican championship quarter-final this week with the first leg likely to be played Thursday or Friday.

The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) are due to announce the dates later on Monday.

Forward Cuauhtemoc Blanco and stalwart midfielder German Villa are among those who stayed in Mexico.

"These are risks we have to take," said coach Luis Fernando Tena.

"The domestic championship is also important so we have even out the workload and continue with the rotation of players."

DANGEROUS OPPONENTS

Free-scoring Colo Colo, however, are dangerous opponents and are keen to atone for their abject dismal in the first leg, described by coach Claudio Borghi as the worst in his 16-month reign.

Colo Colo are not the only team with a lot of work to do in this week's return games.

Velez Sarsfield also trail 3-0 from their first leg against fellow Argentines Boca Juniors, as do Flamengo against Defensor Sporting.

Velez, under Mexico's World Cup coach Ricardo La Volpe, host Boca in Buenos Aires on Wednesday while Flamengo, Brazil's most popular club, play the unfashionable Uruguayans at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro the same evening.

Mexico's Toluca have an even bigger task as host Colombian champions Cucuta on Tuesday with a 5-1 deficit from the first game.

The remaining three ties are finely balanced.

Gremio host Sao Paulo in an all-Brazilian tie in Porto Alegre on Wednesday with a 1-0 deficit to make up and while Santos go into Thursday's game at home to Caracas FC of Venezuela well positioned after drawing 2-2 away.

Paraguayan champions Libertad, the only team to win away last week when they beat Parana 2-1, complete the line-up when they face the Brazilians in Asuncion on Thursday.

Source:
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