As per a number of reports in Spain (via the Evening Standard) this evening, the crunch Copa Libertadores final second-leg matchup between River Plate and Boca Juniors is set to be played out in Spain, at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Boca Juniors vs River Plate
One of the fiercest rivalries in world football has been renewed in Argentina over the last couple of weeks.
After both Boca Juniors and River Plate successfully navigated their respective paths through the Copa Libertadores, the Buenos-Aires-based rivals were pitted against each other in the competition’s finale for the first time in history.
The first-leg between the two sides saw a thrilling 2-2 draw played out at Boca’s Bombonera on the 11th of November, in the midst of a tense atmosphere.
However, few could have predicted quite how badly tensions were set to escalate ahead of the second-leg clash, which was originally scheduled to take place last Saturday.
Shocking acts of violence on the streets of Buenos Aires in the hours building up to kick-off eventually led to Boca’s team bus being pelted with rocks and bottles en route to the Estadio Monumental:
River Plate supporters attack Boca Juniors squad bus with pepper spray and rocks ahead of the Copa Libertadores final pic.twitter.com/h1FktcFQkF
— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) November 24, 2018
Several of the away side’s players were left with injuries as a result of the attack:
Current scenes in the Boca dressing room. pic.twitter.com/3uGNyW6Xuo
— Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) November 24, 2018
River v Boca today before the suspension:
Boca’s bus attacked.
Boca players vomitting from gas thrown inside the bus
Pablo Perez sent to the hospital with a serious eye injury.
Ambulance carrying Perez attacked and defended by police deploying pepper spray. pic.twitter.com/TG0ZFGRNnl
— EiF (@EiFSoccer) November 24, 2018
In addition, further violence on the streets around the Monumental led to droves of armed police being called into action:
Only 16 reported arrests at this point but with all the video footage out, I expect there to be way more in the coming hours/days. River Plate fans openly fighting armed police officers. #CopaLibertadores pic.twitter.com/DT64zpWIfT
— R1Finesse (@R1Finesse) November 24, 2018
CONMEBOL take action
As such, following hours of intense negotiations and kick-off being pushed back, CONMEBOL, the South American Football Confederation, eventually came to the decision that the SuperClasico would be suspended.
It was subsequently revealed in a document sent by the president of CONMEBOL to both Boca and River on Tuesday afternoon that, as a result of the violent scenes in Buenos Aires, the decision had been taken to hold the Copa Libertadores final second-leg outside of Argentina on the weekend of the 8th-9th of December:
Nota entregada por el Presidente de la CONMEBOL a los presidentes de los clubes River Plate y Boca Juniors en la reunión del martes 27 en la sede la de CONMEBOL, en Paraguay. pic.twitter.com/qNBYTRZXx6
— CONMEBOL.com (@CONMEBOL) November 27, 2018
And, as per the aforementioned update across the Spanish media tonight, the decision regarding exactly where South America’s biggest club fixture will be held has now been made.
‘Pending the approval of the Spanish government and Ministry of Education and Sport’ (ES), the clash will be held at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu.
Further details suggest that River vs Boca will kick-off at 7:30pm GMT on Sunday December 9th.