Boca Juniors-River Plate Copa Libertadores final to be played Dec. 9 at Bernabeu
The Copa Libertadores final return leg between Boca Juniors and River Plate will be played Sunday, Dec. 9, at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, CONMEBOL announced Thursday.
South American football's governing body also said that River Plate will be assessed a $400,000 fine and will play their next two continental home matches behind closed doors.
"The decision of the administration is that this game will be played with fans of both teams in Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium," CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez said, adding that the game would be played at 8:30 p.m. local time (2:30 p.m. ET).
"The world is asking for an example of chivalry, sportsmanship and the values inherent to the sport," Dominguez said.
The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, welcomed the venue announcement and promised his organization would provide "optimal conditions" to stage the final.
"It is great news that we have received the confidence to welcome the celebration of this historic match and we will make all the efforts that are within our reach to be able to offer both CONMEBOL and a beloved country such Argentina optimal conditions to enjoy one of the best matches in the world," Rubiales said.
"Spain will put all its experience in events of this kind at the service of the final of the most prestigious club tournament in America."
The game between the Argentine archrivals, originally to be hosted by River, was scheduled for Nov. 24 but had to be postponed due to crowd trouble near the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires that left fans and several Boca players injured.
"Those of us who know the 'beautiful game,' know that it's only about winning or losing, not killing or dying," Dominguez said.
"This is the moment to show the world that in football, the good guys always win."
The first leg was a 2-2 draw at Boca's Bombonera Stadium on Nov. 11, a game staged a day after it was supposed to be played due to heavy rain.
After CONMEBOL's ruling, Boca said in a statement that the club considers the decision "contrary to the statute and jurisprudence precedents" of Conmebol and the team will file a formal appeal with the Chambear of Appeals and, eventually, before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
River also questioned Conmebol's decision, saying it "will make the legal proposals and the pertinent appeals in relation to the decisions of Conmebol and its Disciplinary Court, in relation to the change of venue for the final match of the Copa Libertadores 2018, the economic sanction and the prohibition to dispute in fron of our fans, two matches in 2019."