Copa Libertadores: River Plate Refuse to Play Boca Juniors in Madrid
River Plate said Saturday they have refused to play the Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors in Madrid.
Buenos Aires: River Plate said Saturday they have refused to play the Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors in Madrid.
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.
The match is due to be played in the Spanish capital on December 9, but River Plate said they "confirmed their rejection of the change of location".
In a statement on the club's website, River said it was "incomprehensible" that the game had been moved to Spain.
River said the club bore no responsibility for the "faults in the security operation" for the high profile fixture in Buenos Aires.
"It is incomprehensible that the superclasico cannot take place as normal in the same country where a G20 summit is currently taking place," the club added.
World leaders including US President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are attending the G20 summit in the Argentine capital this weekend.
"The club believes this decision demeans the competition, prejudices those who have bought tickets and makes it unfair," River continued.
Several hours before River put out their statement, Boca Juniors said they were going to appeal against the decision to move the match to Madrid to the South American football federation CONMEBOL, and eventually to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Several Boca Juniors players including Pablo Perez needed hospital treatment for injuries caused by shards of glass and others complained about the effects of inhaling teargas.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said Saturday that "idiots ruined the party" for everyone at the Copa Libertadores.
"I was here last Saturday," Infantino said at a press conference at the G20 summit.
"It was a sad moment for everyone. It is a football match. It is not a war, not even a battle."
"We have to work to find out who are the people to blame. You have to identify them and get them out (of football)," said Infantino.
"I hope this does not happen any longer," he said. "This story must mark the end of one chapter and the start of a new one."
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