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Authorities close Costa Rica's soccer stadium over tax debts

posted September 9 @ 22:14, EST

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) - Saprissa Stadium was temporarily closed by the Costa Rica government on Thursday to enforce payment of tax debts.

The soccer stadium, home of the national champion Saprissa club, will remain closed for five days.

It was the venue for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier in which Costa Rica defeated Canada 1-0 and was to have hosted two matches this weekend.

If the estimated $500,000 US in taxes owed for 1995-1999 are not paid, the stadium could be closed for another eight-day period, Social Security authorities said.

Saprissa spokesman Manuel Munoz accused the authorities of being "intransigent."

In a press statement, he noted the team had already paid about $2.2 million in tax debts.

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