No plan to host future Libertadores finals in Europe, assures CONMEBOL president

River Plate and Boca Juniors will play the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final in Madrid, but CONMEBOL do not want to repeat it.

The Copa Libertadores will not be played outside of South America again after River Plate and Boca Juniors contest the trophy in Madrid, according to CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez.

River were originally scheduled to host the second leg of the final at El Monumental on November 24, but Boca’s bus was attacked on its way to the ground and Pablo Perez and Gonzalo Lamardo had be examined at hospital for potential eye injuries caused by shattered glass.

The match was postponed and rescheduled for the following day, but Boca requested it be suspended again to ensure the “conditions of equality” and CONMEBOL accepted.

River’s punishment saw them lose the right to host the second leg, with the governing body instead selecting the Santiago Bernabeu as the venue.

The decision to host the match in the capital of Spain, the former colonisers of much of South America, has been the source of much consternation across the continent.

With the Libertadores set for one-off finals from 2019, Dominguez assured there will be no repeat of the showpiece being hosted in Europe.

Asked why the fixture was taking place in Madrid, Dominguez told Globo Esporte: “Because of an emergency. CONMEBOL had to find a neutral pitch.

“This is an exceptional case and exceptional cases require exceptional solutions. We do not plan to repeat this situation.

“It was my idea. I called my friend [Real Madrid president] Florentino Perez and asked if it was a viable idea or if it should be discarded. Florentino asked for two minutes and then called me back and said it was a good idea and offered the Bernabeu at zero cost for CONMEBOL to organise the match.

“There were other cities that volunteered and I want to thank them.”

Dominguez does not believe what occurred in Buenos Aires has damaged Argentina’s chances of hosting the 2030 World Cup alongside Paraguay and Uruguay.

“Violence does not only happen in the Libertadores or in South America,” he said.

“Everyone has seen there was also violence in Europe, unfortunately. Eradicating violence is a commitment football needs to take on.”

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