Conmebol adamant that Copa Libertadores final will remain in Chile despite civil unrest

October 30 – Conmebol is still maintaining that the final of the Copa Libertadores will be go-ahead as planned in Santiago, but wants to clarify the situation in a meeting with the Chilean president Sebastian Pinera amid the ongoing social unrest in the country.

Pinera’s government has come under heavy pressure following days of protests that were sparked by a hike in public transport fares, but led to a nationwide expression of general discontent. The protests have already costs more than ten lives with street violence and looting in the capital and other cities. Even so, South America’s governing body implied on social media that plans remain unchanged, writing that “The audience with the president of the Republic of Chile and authorities is part of the preparations for the realization of the single final of CONMEBOL @Libertadores…”

A source told Insideworldfootball that for now everything remains in place to stage the final in Santiago, but Chile’s Football Federation (ANFP) warned the governing body to remain realistic amid the widespread unrest. Earlier this week domestic football was suspended for a week in Chile.

“Conmebol is being informed about what happens,” said ANFP president Sebastien Morena. “There is a commitment to play the final in Chile, but you have to be realistic. We all hope that everything will normalize. But I insist: national reality is more important than football.”

It is clear that Conmebol will wait as long as possible for the final to take place in Santiago to avoid last season’s embarrassment of having to shift its flagship club final away from its original venue when River Plate vs Boca Juniors had to be moved from Buenos Aires to Madrid over security concerns.

In various media reports Peru’s Lima has been reported as a potential alternative to Santiago. It is understood that Conmebol doesn’t want a final in Asuncion. The Paraguayan capital will stage the Copa Sul-Americana final, the equivalent of the Europa League final, on November 9, but the host city does not have the capacity to deal with an invasion of Brazilian and Argentinean fans.

Conmebol allocated both clubs 12,500 tickets for the final in Santiago at a price of €71. The ticket allocation will come as a disappointment to Flamengo, who boost the biggest fan base in Brazil. The Rio club claims to have between 30-40 million fans in the country. Last week 69,000 fans flocked to the Maracana to witness the 5-0 second-leg semi-final demolition of Gremio that ensured Flamengo’s progress to the final. The national stadium in Chile has an official capacity of 48,665.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1574258901labto1574258901ofdlr1574258901owedi1574258901sni@o1574258901fni1574258901