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Copa Libertadores should only be played in South America - Guardiola

By Opta
River Plate and Boca Juniors will face each other in Madrid on December 9, but Pep Guardiola thinks it should be played in South America.

London, December 1: The rearranged Copa Libertadores final should only be played in South America and not Spain regardless of the attack on Boca Juniors' bus by River Plate supporters last Saturday, according to Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola.

Boca travelled across Buenos Aires with the final all square at 2-2 after the first leg at La Bombonera, but their bus was showered with projectiles on the way to River's El Monumental stadium, with some smashing windows.

Eventually the vehicle arrived at the ground before Boca captain Pablo Perez and his team-mate Gonzalo Lamardo were taken to hospital for assessment, while other players appeared to have been affected by the use of pepper spray.

Discussions saw the game suspended until Sunday, but it was then postponed again as CONMEBOL accepted Boca players were in no condition to play.

Following meetings between club and CONMEBOL officials, it was finally announced on Thursday that the game will take place at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu ground on December 9, but that decision does not sit well with Guardiola.

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"I would have preferred to play it in South America," Guardiola told reporters. "I would have preferred to play in Buenos Aires, but they know better than me what happened there.

"After that I think the final has to be in its own continent, its own countries. Hopefully it will be the last time it happens."

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    Story first published: Saturday, December 1, 2018, 4:20 [IST]
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