South America football’s governing body Conembol has announced that due to the ongoing civil unrest in the Chilean capital, this year’s Copa Libertadores final is being moved Peru.
The Copa, which is South Americas premier club football competition, was scheduled to take place on 23 November at the Estadio Nacional, however, following violence which has seen 21 deaths and over 5,000 arrests, the match has been moved to Lima’s 80,000-seater stadium, the Estadio Monumental.
A statement released by Conembol read: “After analysing and evaluating new circumstances of force majeure, and considering the security of the players, public and respective delegations, Conmebol has taken the decision to move the final of the 2019 Libertadores to the Estadio Monumental in Lima, Peru, while maintaining the original date of November 23rd.”
This is not the first time when a Copa Libertadores final has had to be moved due to violence, with last season’s second leg bout between historic Argentinian rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors having to be relocated to Madrid following a bus attack suffered by Boca en route to the stadium.
As well as moving the fixture, this season’s final also marks the first time in the Copa’s 60-year history that the final will be played as a single game at a neutral stadium, with Conembol believing that the changes will make the occasion more lucrative for the competing teams and that it will resemble UEFA’s variant of the competition.
The relocation of the match has been backed by both clubs involved, reigning champions River Plate and Brazilian outfit Flamengo, as well as the football associations of the countries involved.
Conembol will be hoping to avoid the similar troubles during next season’s edition of the competition as they take the final to Brazil’s national team stadium, the Maracana in Rio De Janeiro.