Copa Libertadores in doubt again as River Plate refuse to play in Madrid

The Copa Libertadores final second leg between Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate was twice postponed a week ago after Boca players were injured when River fans attacked the team bus.

It took several days for organisers CONMEBOL to decide the rearranged match would be played outside of Argentina – in Madrid on 9 December.

But now River Plate have announced they won’t play the continent’s equivalent of the Champions League final outside of South America.

“Spectators are now denied – unjustifiably – the possibility of witnessing the spectacle,” River said in a statement, highlighting the cost for fans.

River was already angered it was fined $400,000 and ordered to play the next two CONMEBOL games behind closed doors after fans broke windows on the Boca bus and players including Carlos Tevez inhaled pepper spray.

“Argentine football as a whole and the Argentine Football Association cannot and should not allow a handful of violent ones to impede the development of the superclasico in our country,” the club went on.

FIFA, world football’s governing body, approved CONMEBOL shifting the final to Spain on security grounds, but it is now unclear when and where the match will be played.

The game is poised at 2-2 after the first leg at Boca’s stadium.

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