Football: Update on Copa Libertadores Final

By prof dr ian blackshaw

Following the postponement of the second leg of the final of the Copa Libertadores between Boca Juniors and River Plate, due to River Plate fans attacking the Boca Juniors team bus on its way to the Stadium on 24 November 2018 (see GSLTR post of 26 November 2018 by Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw), the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL, announced on 29 November 2018 a new date and venue for the match.

The final will now be played in Madrid on 9 December 2018 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the home of Real Madrid.

The final will also be played before fans from both teams, and the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, has confirmed that his country is taking the necessary measures to guarantee the security of the event.

It is the first time that the Copa Libertadores final has been played by arch-rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate in the competition’s 60-year old history.

One further point: CONMEBOL has also announced that River Plate football club is being fined US$400,000 for fan violence! The fans of River Plate have also been punished as the next two home games in a CONMEBOL organised competition will be played behind closed doors. Calls had been made for the title to be awarded to Boca Juniors without any play-off at all.

To move the final from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to another country, Madrid Spain, appears  to be a rather drastic decision and one that suggests that the Argentinian Football and Civil Authorities are unable to handle the security situation of a football final themselves in their own country.

What a rather sad state of affairs!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’