Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari said the violence that led to South America’s Copa Libertadores final second leg being moved to their Santiago Bernabeu stadium has “broken a lot of hearts” and set a terrible example for children.
South America’s football confederation (CONMEBOL) announced on Thursday that the match between River Plate and Boca Juniors would take place in the Spanish capital on Sunday Dec. 9.
The bitter rivals drew 2-2 in the first leg of South America’s equivalent of the Champions League final but the second match at River’s Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires was postponed after River fans attacked Boca’s team bus, injuring some players.
“There are contradictory sensations,” former Argentina international Solari said. “It’s an honour for Madrid to host the final and Argentine football’s Clasico.
“I hope that a stadium with our history will help to put an end to such a complicated final.
“I can’t help but refer to the reasons this game has been brought here, that it has to be played an ocean away has broken a lot of hearts and it is a terrible example for children.
“That a small part of our society ends up ruining everything and nothing works is such a pity.”
CONMEBOL rejected an appeal by Boca to be awarded the match without playing the second leg due to the violence.
Supporters will be given an equal allocation of tickets for the game at the Bernabeu and Spanish newspaper El Pais said the police are “working against the clock” to prepare security for the match.
Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil right-back Dani Alves also criticised the decision to take the final out of South America.
Alves said on an Instagram story that it was wrong to punish all fans for the bad behaviour of a few.
“To me, a Boca or a River playing outside of South America is the most shameful thing I have ever seen or am going to see as a South American,” he said. “This has nothing to do with me, but as a South American and a football over, I feel obliged to voice my opinion for the good of football.
“You do not teach people any lessons by taking things away from them. People who behave improperly should have to pay for their actions and not the rest of us who just want to enjoy the moment.”