Madrid May Host Copa Libertadores Final
Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium may host the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Argentine rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors postponed after fan violence at the weekend, Spanish media said Thursday.
“According to sources close to negotiations, the agreement is 90 percent closed and all parties hope to be able to announce it Thursday afternoon,” the daily El Pais said.
The newspaper added that Spain’s football federation (RFEF) and Real Madrid had given the green light to the event.
The original second-leg clash between the two Buenos Aires clubs at the weekend was postponed after Boca players were injured in an attack on their team bus by River fans with pepper spray, stones and sticks.
South American football administrators Conmebol subsequently said the match could not be played in Argentina, starting intense speculation over where it would be played.
The Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar, which will be used in the 2022 World Cup, has also been linked with the match.
Sports daily As said it could instead take place on December 9 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium at 8.30 pm local time (1930 GMT).
Boca Junior and River Plate both have games scheduled that weekend in the Argentine league.
Neither the RFEF nor Real Madrid were available for comment when contacted by AFP.
The daily El Mundo also reported the final could take place at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, used to hosting the “clasico” clashes between arch-rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, which this time would turn into the River-Boca “superclasico.”
But El Mundo pointed out that this second leg final depends on a decision of Conmebol’s disciplinary commission.
The first leg ended 2-2. Boca Juniors have asked to be awarded victory without playing the second leg, while River Plate want to play.
The clash between the two Buenos Aires clubs was due to be the last Libertadores final played over two legs. Earlier this year, Conmebol decided to adopt a single-match format from next season when the final will be in Santiago, Chile.
Madrid is set to host another prestigious final this season — that of the Champions League in June, at Atletico’s Metropolitano stadium.