Thu, 14 Nov 2019

Asuncion - Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana stadium has been chosen to host next year's Copa Libertadores final, South American football's governing body CONMEBOL announced on Thursday.

The world-famous arena beat off competition from seven other stadiums -- five of which are also in Brazil -- to claim hosting rights after also holding the Copa America final earlier this year when Brazil beat Peru 3-1 to win a ninth continental crown.

This year's Libertadores final in Chile's capital Santiago on November 23 will be the first time the deciding encounter for South America's equivalent of the Champions League takes place over a single match.

CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez said the single final format had provided a boost, "increasing the projection and international reach of our football."

The last two-legged final in 2018 ended in controversy when the second leg between bitter Argentine rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate was relocated 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) to Madrid.

The second leg, originally scheduled for Racing's Monumental stadium, was twice postponed after several Boca players suffered cuts from broken glass and tear gas inhalation when their team bus came under attack from home fans on the way to the ground on the initial fixture date.

The two Buenos Aires giants are currently battling for a place in this year's final, with River having won their semi-final first leg 2-0.

The winners will play either Brazilians Gremio or Flamengo in the final.

The 2020 final will take place on November 21.

CONMEBOL also announced that the Sudamericano final -- South America's secondary competition -- will be in Cordoba's Mario Kempes stadium on November 7, 2020.

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