Organizer skips Copa Libertadores semis to work in Qatar

              The Khalifa International Stadium shines in the evening prior to the start of the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The chief organizer of the Copa Libertadores is working at the world track and field championships in Qatar, missing Tuesday’s rematch of last year’s troubled final between Argentine rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors.

Fan violence prior to the second leg at River’s Monumental Stadium forced the 2018 final to be moved away from the continent to Spain for the first time in the competition’s history. The same stadium in Buenos Aires was to stage the semifinal first leg on Tuesday as River continued its title defense of South America’s most prestigious club tournament.

The game was to be played in the middle of the night in Qatar where CONMEBOL competitions’ director Fred Nantes is working at the track worlds. The IAAF told The Associated Press that Nantes was working as an international technical official at its showpiece event which began on Friday and runs through this Sunday.

“Mr. Fred Nantes is on vacation these days,” CONMEBOL told the AP.

South America’s soccer confederation said Nantes had been an international athletics referee since 2001, before joining them and wants to continue working in that sport occasionally away from soccer.

Nantes’ LinkedIn page shows he has worked at CONMEBOL since January 2018.