River Plate refuse to play Copa Libertadores final in Madrid

Argentinian River Plate's supporters protest outside the club's stadium in Buenos Aires on December 1, 2018. - River Plate said Saturday they have refused to play the Copa Libertadores final second leg against Boca Juniors in Madrid, casting uncertainty over the December 9 fixture. The match between the Argentine arch-rivals has been moved to Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium after it was twice postponed last weekend after River Plate fans attacked the Boca Juniors team bus. (Photo by JAVIER GONZALEZ TOLEDO / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAVIER GONZALEZ TOLEDO/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentinian River Plate's supporters protest outside the club's stadium in Buenos Aires on December 1, 2018. - River Plate said Saturday they have refused to play the Copa Libertadores final second leg against Boca Juniors in Madrid, casting uncertainty over the December 9 fixture. The match between the Argentine arch-rivals has been moved to Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium after it was twice postponed last weekend after River Plate fans attacked the Boca Juniors team bus. (Photo by JAVIER GONZALEZ TOLEDO / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAVIER GONZALEZ TOLEDO/AFP/Getty Images) /
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Last week, Real Madrid announced they would be hosting the Copa Libertadores Final, but one team has decided otherwise. Here’s a look at what’s going on and what the fuss is all about.

Real Madrid announced last week that they would be using the Santiago Bernabéu to host the Copa Libertadores final. The second leg of the final which includes River Plate and Boca Juniors was scheduled for November 24th but was canceled before the referee could blow the opening whistle.

Upon arrival at River Plate’s stadium in Buenos Aires, Boca’s team bus was attacked as fans threw rocks and glass bottles amongst other items. Several players were hit by debris while others were affected by the tear gas used by police to disperse the crowds. The match was instantly rescheduled for the next day, November 25th, but that too was met with plenty of disruption.

With fans causing harm and a logistical disaster, South American Football Confederation CONMEBOL sought other venues for the second leg. It was rumored that it could take place in Qatar until the governing body struck a deal with Real Madrid.

Of course, River Plate is furious about the decision for various reasons. The biggest one being, Boca Juniors had the opportunity to play in front of their fans but River won’t get that chance.

Infuriated, River Plate released an official statement rejecting the idea of playing the Final at the Bernabéu. The statement clearly stated:

"“River Plate reject the change of venue,”. They continued on to say “adversely affects those who bought tickets and also upsets the idea of equal conditions by taking away home advantage.”"

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CONEMBOL haven’t sat back after River Plate’s fans caused havoc. The club has been fined $400,000 and must play their next two home fixtures behind closed doors. Their statement has just added fuel to the fire, a match that will already be an inferno unlike any other.

As of now, the match will still take place at the Santiago Bernabéu on December 9. Real Madrid will be playing against Huesca away from the capital on Matchday 15 of La Liga on the same day. Los Blancos will be looking to extend their success after a 2-0 win over Valencia.

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