July 21 – The Copa Libertadores will return to action behind closed doors in September, six months after South America’s flagship competition was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Conmebol has announced.
Football is yet to return in much of South America with Paraguay postponing the restart of its domestic league due to a coronavirus outbreak at club three clubs, but Conmebol has released a tentative match schedule for its two continental club competitions to restart.
The Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the Champions League, will restart on September 15 without fans, with the Copa Sudamerica, the continent’s second-tier competition, returning a month later on October 27.
The Copa Libertadores came to a grinding standstill in March as the coronavirus pandemic gained in strength, but in its plans for a restart the South American governing body has maintained a full match calendar. Just two rounds of matches in the group phase had been completed. In Europe, UEFA has been forced to plan a one-off final eight tournament in August to conclude the Champions League
Conmebol expects to stage both finals as late as January 2021. The Maracana in Rio de Janeiro had been slated to host this season’s Copa Libertadores final in November, but the South American governing body has pushed back a final decision on the host city so that it can monitor the evolving coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, Conmebol moved away from the traditional two-legged final format to stage the Copa Libertadores final as a 90-minute showpiece event, but due to social unrest in Chile the match had to be shifted from the Chilean capital to Lima at the last minute.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1596497226labto1596497226ofdlr1596497226owedi1596497226sni@o1596497226fni1596497226