Macri: Visiting fans can attend Copa Libertadores final
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentine President Mauricio Macri has backtracked on whether opposing fans can attend the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate this month, saying he is leaving the decision up to the clubs.
Macri initially said on Friday that visiting fans would be allowed, a call at odds with a 2013 ban in Argentine soccer that is aimed at reducing violence.
Despite it being a major security challenge for authorities, "it's also a good opportunity to show maturity, and that we're changing, and (soccer) can be played in peace," Macri said on his Twitter account.
Macri also said he asked Argentina's security minister to work closely with the government of the city of Buenos Aires to ensure safety.
"We have to immortalize this historic opportunity with a full show and that means with visiting fans," Macri later told local Radio La Red.
But hours later, he told Fox Sports Television channel that although "the national and city government guarantee that the final can be played with visitors, the decision must be taken by the club managers."
Macri, a former president of Boca Juniors, recently expressed concerns about the possibility that the archrivals would face each other. He also said he preferred an Argentine team faced a Brazilian one in the final, but on Thursday he said he wished only for a "peaceful and harmonious" Boca-River duel.
The final will be at Boca's La Bombonera on Nov. 10, and at River's Monumental de Nunez on Nov. 24. It ends just days before a summit of G-20 leaders in Buenos Aires.
Boca has a shot at tying Argentine club Independiente's record of seven titles. River will be going for its fourth South American crown, the last in 2015.