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27th Nov 2018

Copa Libertadores final to be played outside of Argentina, CONMEBOL confirms

Simon Lloyd

Saturday’s final was postponed after Boca Juniors’ bus was attacked by River Plate fans

The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final will not be played in Argentina, it has been confirmed.

After Boca Juniors hosted Buenos Aires rivals River Plate in the first leg two weeks ago, the final was due to be concluded on Saturday at River’s Monumental stadium.

However, Boca’s bus was attacked by River supporters as it approached the ground. With some of the players onboard injured in the incident, it was initially decided the game would be delayed by 24 hours. The decision to postpone the game indefinitely was announced the following day following a request to do so from Boca.

CONMEBOL, South American football’s governing body, have now confirmed that the game will go ahead, though not in Argentina.

Alejandro Dominguez, head of CONMEBOL, handed a letter to presidents of both clubs ahead of their meeting on Tuesday in Asuncion, Paraguay, which explained the reasons why the game would not be played in Argentina. The letter also says that while a final decision on the venue had yet to be made, the final would be played on either December 8 or 9.

The letter, as per ESPN, reads:

Regarding the violent incidents that took place in Buenos Aires on November 24, 2018, which put at risk the safety of the players, officials and fans, including criminal offences which the Argentinian authorities are still investigating, it’s wise that the final shall not be played in that country…

In order to ensure the sporting Copa Libertadores (tournament) is completed, CONMEBOL has resolved: a: That the 2018 Copa Libertadores return leg will be carried out either on the 8th or 9th December in a venue and time to be defined by CONMEBOL’s administration (subject to the ruling of the disciplinary tribunal). b: CONMEBOL will incur all the travel expenses for up to 40 people per delegation. c: CONMEBOL will coordinate the security with the relevant authorities.’

The winner of the Copa Libertadores will be in Abu Dhabi on December 18 for the FIFA Club World Cup, causing somer to speculate that the venue for the final is likely to be somewhere in the Middle East.

Elsewhere, the Italian city of Genoa put itself forward as a possible host for the game, which finished 2-2 after the first leg.