US denies entry visas for Guatemalan U-15s

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July 29 – Nine members of the Guatemalan under-15 team have been denied travel visas to the United States to play in a Concacaf competition according to reports.

The boys were reportedly turned down at the U.S. embassy in Guatemala City on Friday, according to a statement from Fedefutbol, Guatemala’s governing body.

“FEDEFUT will inform the Concacaf authorities and the organising committee of the event about this topic,” a statement said.

“As part of the procedure and preparation of our delegation, today nine players went to their previously scheduled appointment with the respective embassy to go through the visa procedure, presenting all the supporting and required documentation for obtaining [the visas].”

The boys were due to compete in a championship at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida beginning on August 4.

Guatemala will still participate in the 42-nation championship, the federation said, but has been seriously disadvantaged. Each team generally brings 18 players to the tournament meaning the Guatemalan side would have nine starters without substitutes. They are set to face the US, Haiti and Surinam.

The Guatamalan statement added the national team “will continue to work and carry out corresponding procedures in order to immediately find a solution to the problems of our national teams.”

The denial of visas came on the same day US president Donald Trump announced a “safe third country” agreement with Guatemala, which would allow the U.S. to deport migrants seeking asylum if they reached the southern U.S. border by crossing through Guatemala.

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