Football news - Copa Libertadores final to be moved outside of Argentina next month
The postponed Copa Libertadores final second leg between Buenos Aires rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played on December 8th or 9th outside of Argentina after violent crowd trouble marred the occasion over the weekend.
The second leg of the final was called off twice at the weekend after the bus carrying the Boca team was attacked by rival fans outside River's Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires on Saturday, injuring several players.
The kick-off time was initially delayed before the game was postponed from Saturday to Sunday. On Sunday, it was postponed again, hours before kick-off, after Boca said they were not in a fit state to play.
The South American football confederation CONMEBOL confirmed on Tuesday that it was moving the final outside the country. The first leg at Boca's stadium ended 2-2.
"It will be played outside Argentina because the conditions do not exist for the game to be played in Argentina," said CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez after meeting with the heads of both clubs at the confederation's headquarters in Paraguay.
The showdown between the fierce Buenos Aires rivals was billed as the greatest final in the competition's 58-year history.
The move comes after Boca Juniors’ president Daniel Angelici asked for River Plate be disqualified from the competition and for the second leg not to be abandoned after Boca’s team coach was attacked, leaving midfielder Pablo Pérez requiring hospital treatment for an eye injury.
Violence left to the postponement of the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors (Sebastian Pani/AP).PA Sport
Both legs were sold out and fans and media came from around the world to watch what many consider to be one of the most bitter rivalries and impressive spectacles in world sport.
However, Argentine football was disgraced after River fans threw stones and missiles at the Boca bus as it made its way to the stadium, breaking windows and injuring players.
Tear gas or pepper spray got into the vehicle, disorienting players and causing some to vomit. Boca captain Pablo Perez was taken to hospital with cuts to his eye and several other players suffered lacerations caused by shards of glass from broken windows.
Even though the stadium was filled to capacity, Boca said they were in no state to play the game and CONMEBOL first delayed the match and then postponed it until Sunday.
The Paraguayan capital of Asuncion has been suggested as one venue to host the rescheduled game, as has Miami. Colombia has also reportedly offered to host the game.
Buenos Aires (River Plate vs. Boca Juniors)Getty Images
The new date will ensure the Libertadores champions can compete in this year’s Club World Cup, which starts on December 12 in the United Arab Emirates.
The CONMEBOL winners play their first match in the tournament on December 18 and could face UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid in the final.
The Libertadores is South America's equivalent of Europe's Champions League and it is the first time two teams from the same city had reached the final.
It has been claimed that CONMEBOL's decision could have been influenced by the impending G20 summit which begins in Buenos Aires on Friday.