‘Copa Conquistadores’ final angers Argentina

Buenos Aires: The first ever Copa Libertadores final between Argentina’s two most popular clubs was supposed to be the “match of the century” and a football festival that would propel the country back into the spotlight following yet another World Cup debacle.
Well, Argentina is back in the spotlight but for all the wrong reasons and the decision to play the twice-postponed “superclasico” final second leg between Buenos Aires arch rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors in the homeland of Latin America’s colonizers, is a painful humiliation.
All over social media, the prestigious competition — the most important club tournament in South America — has been rechristened the “Copa Conquistadores de America.”
In one meme on social media there is a picture of Christopher Columbus landing in South America to initiate the European colonisation of the Americas and holding aloft the Copa Libertadores trophy, whereas he’s usually depicted with the flag of Spain’s Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella of Castille and King Ferdinand II of Aragon.
“It’s as if we weren’t allowed to dance the tango. We’re destroying football,” lamented Gustavo Alfaro, the coach of Argentine team Huracan.
“We don’t want hooligans or complicit authorities. They’ve no right to take River-Boca away from us.”
For the first time ever, a Copa Libertaodres final will be played outside the continent, with Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium picked as the unlikely venue.
It all came about because last weekend the original second leg clash at River’s Monumental stadium — the first leg finished 2-2 at Boca’s Bombonera ground — was called off after Boca players were injured when their team bus came under attack from their rivals’ fans.
Windows were shattered, spraying players with broken glass while police fired tear gas to disperse the troublemakers, but that entered the team bus and left Boca’s footballers suffering from smoke inhalation.
Boca refused to play the match and it was postponed 24 hours, only to then be called off indefinitely the next day.
Boca petitioned South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL to be awarded the trophy but that was rejected on Thursday.
— AFP