After a lot of speculative news over the future of the 2019 Copa Libertadores Final between Brazilian side Flamengo and Argentine side River Plate, Conmebol has finally reached a decision with both sides. The 2019 Copa Libertadores final will no longer be held at the Chilean capital, Santiago, and will go to the Estadio Monumental de Lima, in Peru, instead.
The decision was made on this Tuesday, at a meeting organized by Conmebol that lasted about five hours, attended by the presidents of Flamengo, Rodolfo Landim, and River Plate, Rodolfo D’Onofrio. Both presidents of the Brazilian and Argentine confederations were also present in the meeting.
The main factor that led to the decision was the capacity for 80,000 people at Estadio Monumental. Also, the time difference is only 30 minutes earlier compared to what was set for Santiago, which Conmebol sees as beneficial as it would be an interesting time to watch from the European continent.
The game was originally scheduled for the National Stadium in Santiago, which can comport up to 50,000 people. But protests that have rocked Chile for over the past three weeks have made it impossible to maintain the original plan.
Together, the South American confederation and the clubs did not want to risk maintaining the game in the Chilean capital – nor exposing fans and sponsors to danger.
It also weighed on the fact that Chilean soccer had been paralyzed for more than three weeks when the protests began. On the eve of the Conmebol meeting, Santiago Mayor Felipe Guevara stated that it would make no sense to organize an international match before local football resumed.
Conmebol’s stance on the situation in Chile has changed over the last few weeks. When the protests began, the confederation assessed – based on the information they received from the Chilean government – that everything would calm down until the Libertadores decision. However, the protests scaled to an unthinkable magnitude, and many Chilean fans were scheduling a huge turmoil to the day of the Libertadores’ final.
That’s a sad situation, as many supporters from both sides had already bought their plane tickets, booked hotel rooms or Airbnb stays, and now they change everything up weeks before the game.
Conmebol said that they will refund supporters that cannot afford to go to Lima, and will try to do something to solve the situation over the scaling plane ticket prices.
It was a terrible decision from the South Americans to try to copy the European system. I mean… Brazil alone is as big as the whole of Europe. Plane tickets in Europe are way more affordable, as European citizens make Euros, and they also have a very efficient public and private transportation such as trains, and even buses.
A plane ticket from Brazil and Argentina to Peru is equal to a whole month of working in an average job in these countries. I hope that there are a lot of spare tickets, and less than 50,000 people in Lima, so that they move back to the old classic ways, where there were two games in the final, both home and away, and not only one in a neutral spot.
Maybe in two-hundred years’ time, South America will have at least half of the infrastructure that Europe has, then, maybe they can stick to their plan.