River express 'total disapproval' of Bernabeu Libertadores final
Posted On March 22, 2019
Both Superclasico teams have appealed the decision to move the showpiece fixture across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain
River Plate have joined arch-rivals Boca Juniors in rejecting the plan to move the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final to Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu.
The Millonario were slated to host the deciding clash of the two-legged final in their Monumental home, having played out a 2-2 draw in Boca’s Bombonera on November 11.
But the game was unable to take place on two occasions after the Boca bus was attacked by fans on its approach to the stadium, leaving two players needing hospital treatment.
Boca subsequently asked to be awarded the trophy, while River requested the replaying of the fixture as planned in the Monumental.
CONMEBOL, however, moved to take the Libertadores out of South America for the first time in its history, scheduling the return on December 9 at the home of Real Madrid.
And in a strongly worded statement, River have called on the governing body to take their fans into consideration and reverse the decision.
“As has been expressed publicly, River make clear their total disapproval of the change of venue,” the missive reads.
The Buenos Aires club appealed to the “grave, severe damage caused to members and fans of River, who purchased their tickets through an enormous economic effort for November 24 in River’s stadium and who are seriously affected and discriminated against by this decision.
“It bears mentioning that more than 66,000 people paid for their ticket, waited patiently for around eight hours on November 24 and went to the stadium again on November 25. Many of those travelled hundreds of kilometres from across the country to be able to watch the match.
“They lost time and money and above all suffered the huge disappointment of not being able to watch the match. All of them deserve the utmost respect and most of all ample apologies.
“Those same spectators are now being unjustifiably denied the chance to go to the game, due to the clear difference in costs and the distance of the chosen venue itself.
“It is incomprehensible that the most important derby in Argentine football cannot be held normally in the very country where a G-20 summit is taking place. Argentine football as a whole and the Argentine Football Association (AFA) cannot and should not allow that a handful of violent people stop the Superclasico being played in our country.”
While CONMEBOL and Madrid have begun preparations for the Superclasico, including provisional ticket allocations, confirmation is pending the hearing of both Boca and River’s appeals.
Boca have already filed their appeal on the grounds that the club “does not share the arguments of [CONMEBOL’s decision] and considers them clearly contrary to the regulations and jurisprudential precedents, for which the corresponding appeals will be filed before the Chamber of Appeals of CONMEBOL and, eventually, before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“The club insists that, having been proven with conclusive evidence the brutal attack to the team bus suffered on November 24, 2018, in the vicinity and in the entrance gate of El Monumental, there is no other sanction than that requested in our presentations.”