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Libertadores final to be played in Madrid - reports

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Libertadores final to be played in Madrid - reports
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By Daniela Desantis

ASUNCION (Reuters) – The postponed second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played at Real Madrid’s stadium on Dec. 9, Argentine and Spanish media reported on Thursday.

Argentina’s two biggest teams drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca’s ground and were due to play the second match in South America’s equivalent of the Champions League final at River’s Monumental stadium on Nov. 24.

However, Boca’s players were hurt when River fans attacked their coach as it approached the stadium and the game was first delayed until Sunday and then postponed indefinitely. [nL2N1Y0067]

The violence was an embarrassment for Argentina just days before this weekend’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

The final decision on staging the game in Madrid is dependent on another ruling by a Disciplinary Tribunal which is hearing Boca’s appeal to be granted a victory because of the violence.

The choice of the Santiago Bernabeu as host venue was taken after CONMEBOL said the match could not take place in Argentina due to fears of more fan violence.

Qatar, Miami, and stadiums in Brazil and Colombia were among those who offered to stage the game, the biggest in the Libertadores’s 58-year history.

But Spain’s position as a footballing hotbed with excellent flight connections to Latin America swung the decision in Madrid’s favour.

The Libertadores winners will represent CONMEBOL in the Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates days later.

The tournament kicks off on Dec. 12 with the South American team due to play their first match on Dec. 18. European champions Real Madrid are among the clubs taking part.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie,; Editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond)

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