The game billed as the biggest match in South American soccer history — the delayed second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between the Argentine archrivals Boca Juniors in addition to River Plate — will be held in Europe.
Alejandro Domínguez, the president of Conmebol, South American soccer’s governing body, said Thursday in which Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium would certainly host the match on Dec. 9.
Fans of both clubs will be permitted to attend, despite the fact in which the game, originally scheduled to be played in Buenos Aires on Nov. 25, was postponed twice last weekend after an attack by River fans on the bus carrying the Boca Juniors team resulted in injuries to several players.
Boca Juniors had requested in which the game be canceled in addition to in which River Plate, its bitter crosstown rival, be forced to forfeit the trophy as punishment for the attack outside River’s Monumental stadium. Though River Plate was fined $400,000 by Conmebol on Thursday in addition to was ordered to play its next two home fixtures in continental competition behind closed doors, the organization rejected Boca’s appeal in addition to announced in which the match would certainly go ahead.
Rejecting the prospect in which the game be rescheduled in Argentina, Domínguez said Conmebol decided in which in which would certainly go ahead only on “neutral” territory. quite a few cities volunteered, including Doha, Qatar; Medellín, Colombia; Genoa, Italy; in addition to Miami.
Domínguez was ultimately convinced in which the game could be best staged in safety in addition to security — without losing its “essence” — inside the Spanish capital after a telephone conversation with Florentino Pérez, the president of Real Madrid.
“He told me within two minutes in which the Bernabéu was available,” Domínguez said.
“Spain has the highest population of Argentines outside Argentina,” Domínguez added. “in which is actually the 10th safest city inside the planet. Its airport has the most connections with Latin America inside the planet. in addition to in which includes a great tradition of football.”
He confirmed in which all proceeds coming from the game would certainly be donated to a fund to “eradicate violence coming from Argentine soccer,” in addition to he said Conmebol would certainly seek to reimburse fans who had paid for tickets to the original game at the Monumental. (Boca Juniors hosted the final’s first leg on Nov. 11, a 2-2 tie.)
The decision to hold the game in Spain has consequences far beyond Argentina, however. The R.F.E.F., Spanish soccer’s governing body, has agreed to the game’s being held on its territory at the same time in which is actually objecting to La Liga’s plans to host a regular-season Spanish league game inside the United States in January. FIFA, too, granted its approval for the Copa Libertadores move, despite the objections of its president, Gianni Infantino, to the same Liga proposal on the grounds in which competitions should not be held outside their home country.
A FIFA-sanctioned Copa Libertadores outside South America could also come to be seen by UEFA as a precedent should in which choose to try to host a Champions League final away coming from Europe. Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA’s president, has raised the possibility of moving in which final, the richest in addition to most glamorous game in club soccer, to North America or the Middle East, in addition to UEFA is actually examining the possibility.