Copa Libertadores final to be played outside Argentina

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The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played outside of Argentina, South American football governing body CONMEBOL said on Tuesday.

Originally slated for last Saturday, the match was pushed back by 24 hours after River Plate supporters attacked the Boca Juniors team bus around an hour before the scheduled kick-off.

The game at River's Monumental stadium was postponed again on Sunday, with Boca Juniors stating that their players were still physically and psychologically affected by the violence. The first leg of the final ended 2-2.

CONMEBOL said the decisive second leg would be played on December 8 or 9 at a venue that would be decided "as soon as possible".

"Regarding the violent incidents that took place in Buenos Aires on November 24, 2018, which put at risk the safety of the players, officials and fans ... it's wise that the final shall not be played in that country," CONMEBOL said in a letter handed to the Boca Juniors and River Plate presidents during a meeting in Paraguayan capital Asuncion on Tuesday.

It added that CONMEBOL would coordinate security with local authorities for the rescheduled game.

Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil and Italy have all offered to stage the match.

The fixture was billed as the biggest club game in the history of Argentine football, marking the first time that the country's two biggest teams have met in the final of the Copa Libertadores, South America's equivalent of the UEFA Champions League.

But it turned into a "shameful and lamentable" episode "in front of the whole world that observes us", former Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta said in a social media post.

Several Boca Juniors players required medical treatment after rocks and other missiles smashed the glass windows of their bus as it made its way to the Monumental on the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires. Others were left queasy by tear gas, which police had fired in an effort to disperse fans.

Argentine police immediately announced a criminal investigation into the incident.

On Monday, Argentina's President Mauricio Macri urged lawmakers to pass a bill that would impose harsher penalties on football hooligans.

The Barras Bravas - the equivalent of European ultras - have long been a blight on the country's domestic football scene. According to lobby group Salvemos Al Futbol, 93 people have died from football-related violence in the past decade.

In 2013, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) banned away fans from attending matches in all divisions after a spate of deaths resulting from clashes between supporters.

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