Copa Libertadores final to be played without fans on Jan 30

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Rio de Janeiro, Jan 6 (IANS) The Copa Libertadores final at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium will be played behind closed doors because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has announced.

The decision follows discussions involving representatives of CONMEBOL, the Brazilian Football Confederation and local health authorities, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, still in expansion in South America, does not allow the organisation of an event of such magnitude and importance with the presence of the public, even in a reduced attendance,” the Asuncion-based entity said in a statement.

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Scheduled for January 30, the Copa Libertadores final is considered the most important match in South American club football.

Argentina’s River Plate and Brazil’s Palmeiras have been drawn to face each other in one semifinal while Santos and Boca Juniors will meet in the other.

The final of the second-tier Copa Sudamericana, slated for January 23 at the Mario Alberto Kempes stadium in the Argentine city of Cordoba, will also be played without fans, CONMEBOL said.

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–IANS

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