Infantino: ‘Copa Libertadores issues will not affect Argentina World Cup bid’

5 December 2018 | Stadia & Major Events
Infantino: ‘Copa Libertadores issues will not affect Argentina World Cup bid’
FIFA President accepts ‘unique exception’ of moving final to Madrid.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has rejected suggestions that the chaotic scenes that marred the Copa Libertadores final could impact Argentina’s part in a tri-nation bid to stage the 2030 World Cup.

He described the situation as “too early” to make any judgement on, with the tournament still 12 years away.

He said: “The decision about 2030 will be made in four or five years, so there’s enough time to show that something happened and also to say ‘but look what we did after this’.”

The final of South America’s premier continental club competition between Buenos Aires rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors has not yet been resolved, following violence outside River’s El Monumental stadium.

The fixture is now due to be played on Saturday at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu home, after CONMEBOL – the governing body of the sport in South America – concluded that the game could not take place in the Argentine capital.

Infantino, who has regularly spoken out in opposition to Spanish top flight La Liga’s desire to take league games to the US, explained that he accepted the circumstances of CONMEBOL's decision.

He said: “The issue with the Copa Libertadores final is a unique exception. CONMEBOL analysed everything and reached the conclusion that playing it in Madrid was the only solution.”

Alongside Argentina’s joint bid alongside Uruguay and Paraguay, the 2030 tournament is expected to see rival joint proposals from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Wales; as well as from the Balkan states of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania and Serbia. China have also declared an interest in running for the competition, using the 2030 submission as a trial run ahead of a further bid for the 2034 tournament.

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