The ‘game of the century’ that never was may now be played out after all, as an agreement has reportedly been reached over a new location for the postponed Copa Libertadores second leg.
Buenos Aires sides and bitter rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors were unable to play the tie at the former’s El Monumental stadium on Saturday as planned after the Boca bus came under attack from River fans, causing injury and distress to players and staff.
It was twice rescheduled and, eventually, postponed as South American governing body CONMEBOL scrambled to find a solution that would let them host the game safely.
One wasn’t found and, on Tuesday, it was confirmed that the tie would be held outside of the country.
Miami, Genoa and Doha were among the suggested locales but now it seems that Madrid will have the honours.
Media outlets in the Spanish capital report that the game will be held at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, pending the approval of the Spanish government and political authorities, on 9 December, at 7:30pm GMT.
It will, per these reports, be overseen by a Spanish official.
That won’t leave much time for the victor of tie to prepare for participation in the Club World Cup, which starts less than a week later.
The first leg at Boca’s La Bombonera was drawn 2-2 and leaves thing finely poised for the second.
The violent scenes that marred the abortive attempt at playing out that second were a bitter blow to Argentine football, and a failure to grasp the chance to market the Copa Libertadores to a global audience.
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