Just days before the first ever Pan American Cup was scheduled to begin with eight nations joining Guatemala in Guatemala City, the Fuego volcano has suddenly erupted, killing at least 34 people and displacing over 3,000 residents.
In what is being called Guatemala’s most violent eruption in 100 years, ash rained down on Guatemala City, about 25 miles away, and closed the airport. Guatemala President Jimmy Morales declared three days of national mourning.
As of this morning it was too soon to assess the impact of the volcano on the tournament. The Pan American Minifootball Federation expressed their sympathy for the people of Guatemala and said they would evaluate conditions to see if the tournament could still be held safely on schedule. In the meantime teams were checking options for canceling or rescheduling their flights.
The US and Brazil was scheduled to leave on Wednesday. The first games were to be played on Thursday including that evening’s US vs. Guatemala game.
“Each country is calling the airlines, and the local promoters are working with the Guatemalan Government,” said American Association of Soccer 5-6-7 President Kevin Milliken. “We are going to assess the whole situation, once we have all the information.
“A decision needs to be made by late tonight because teams start traveling tomorrow.”