CONMEBOL have confirmed that Madrid will now host the biggest club game in South American football history
The Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors will now be played at Real Madrid’s ground.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has confirmed the Bernabeu will host the second leg of the final on December 9 at 8:30pm local time.
Billed as the biggest club game in South American football history, the hotly anticipated Argentinian fixture between the bitter Buenos Aires rivals was twice delayed on Saturday, postponed until Sunday and then called off following an attack by River Plate fans on the Boca team coach.
A statement from Alejandro Dominquez, the president of South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL, read: “The administration has elected to hold the Copa Libertadores final return leg, in front of both sets of supporters, in Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday 9th (December).
“Those of us who know the beautiful game know that it is only about winning and losing, not killing or dying.”
President of the RFEF, Luis Rubiales, said: “Without a doubt, we are prepared. It is great news that we have received the confidence to welcome the celebration of this historic match and we will make all the efforts that are within our reach to be able to offer both CONMEBOL and a sister country such as Argentina optimal conditions to enjoy one of the best matches in the world.”
With the tie poised at 2-2 following the first leg at La Bombonera on November 11, Boca players were left injured by shards of broken glass as they made their way to the return match on Saturday and were affected by tear gas, which was fired by police to disperse the crowd outside River Plate’s El Monumental stadium.
It had been hoped the final of the South American equivalent of the Champions League, the first between Argentina’s most famous clubs, could be completed on Sunday, but Boca asked for another postponement, as some of their players were still suffering from the after-effects of the tear gas.
River Plate have been fined £312,734 on account of the violence.
The Bernabeu’s tenants, European champions Real Madrid, are in LaLiga action at Huesca on the date of the exported Superclasico derby, which will take place some 6,237 miles from its traditional venues.
Paris, which has two major football stadiums in the Parc des Princes and Stade de France, had been mooted as an alternative to Madrid.
What is the Copa Libertadores?
Organised by CONMEBOL since 1960, it is the South American version of the Champions League and regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments in world football.
It takes place annually and at least four clubs per country compete. Argentina and Brazil each have six clubs participating.
The tournament consists of six stages, with the first stage taking place in early February.
This year is the first time in history Boca Juniors and River Plate have faced off in the final.