River Plate Refuse to Play Copa Libertadores Final in Madrid

River Plate said Saturday they have refused to play the Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors in Madrid.

The eagerly anticipated match between the Argentine arch-rivals was moved to Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium after it was twice postponed last weekend following an attack on Boca Juniors team bus by River Plate fans.

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 in the team attack last Saturday.

In the wake of the violence, Latin American football governing body, CONMEBOL, moved the match to the Spanish capital on December 9.

But in a new development, River Plate said it was “incomprehensible” that the game had been moved to Spain.

“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 CONMEBOL, and eventually to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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