Copa Libertadores final second leg to be played in Madrid

Exequiel Palacios of Argentina's River Plate, left, rubs his forehead as Nahitan Nandez of Argentina's Boca Juniors complains the the referee after a rough play during the first leg soccer match of the Copa Libertadores final in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (Gustavo Garello/AP)

ASUNCION, Paraguay — The twice-postponed Copa Libertadores final between Argentina archrivals Boca Juniors and River Plate will be played in Madrid on Dec. 9.

The second leg was supposed to be played last Saturday, but Boca players were injured when their bus was attacked by River fans. The match was postponed again on Sunday, and CONMEBOL decided to play it outside of Argentina.

"In Spain we find the necessary tranquility … Madrid is the 10th safest city in the world and it has the largest Argentine community in Europe," CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez said on Thursday. "I don’t think the essence of the Libertadores will be lost because the game will be played in Spain."

Dominguez added the game would be staged at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium at 8:30 p.m. Spanish time, and Boca and River fans would be allowed in.

South American soccer’s governing body rejected a request by Boca to be declared winner by disqualification, but fined River $400,000 and ordered the club to play the next two CONMEBOL games behind closed doors.

The first leg ended 2-2.


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