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CONMEBOL confirms Copa Libertadores will not be played at El Monumental

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Nov 2018

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CONMEBOL has confirmed the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final will not be hosted by River Plate after an attack on the Boca Juniors team bus.

The second leg of the final was due to be played at El Monumental on Saturday but, after windows of the Boca bus were smashed on approach to the stadium, the kick-off was initially delayed and then postponed 24 hours.

But the match was not played on Sunday either amid protests from Boca, whose players also suffered injuries after pepper spray got inside the bus during the attack.

CONMEBOL held a meeting on Tuesday attended by River and Boca’s presidents, after which South America’s governing body said the final will be played on either December 8 or 9.

In a statement, CONMEBOL said it intends to play the final outside of Argentina, with the date and venue to be confirmed at a later date.

However, the decision is subject to the outcome of CONMEBOL’s own disciplinary case against River following the trouble.

A four-man CONMEBOL disciplinary committee is due to meet on Tuesday to decide River’s punishment.

In 2015, Boca were disqualified in the Libertadores last 16 after River players were attacked with pepper spray by fans at La Bombonera. Boca are said to be pursuing the same sanction, which would see them awarded victory in the final.

“We’re not going to play any game until the Disciplinary Tribunal [decision] is issued,” Boca president Daniel Angelici said following the meeting in Asuncion, as quoted by La Nacion.

“Once we have these arguments, we’ll read them, and if we don’t agree, we’ll go to the appeals tribunal. And if we have to go to CAS [The Court of Arbitration for Sport], we’ll go to CAS.”

If the second leg goes ahead, a number of possible venues have been suggested, ranging from neighbouring Paraguay to sites in the United Arab Emirates.

The city of Genoa, which has historical links with River, has also offered to host the match.

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