This Saturday the first of two matches between Club Atletico Boca Juniors (Boca) and River Plate (River) was supposed to be held. This is the first time that the most famous South American cup, Copa Libertadores, is hosting a finals match that can be described as one of the biggest "Clasicos" in the region.
Since Saturday morning, heavy rain was falling on the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, where "La Bombonera," the stadium for Boca Juniors, in the La Boca neighborhood, is located. The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) stated that the match had to be postponed to Sunday afternoon.
"For reasons of force majeure, the match is suspended until tomorrow, Sunday, November 11 at 4:00 p.m.," wrote the Conmebol on Twitter.
Boca and River are longtime rivals, and their matches are always highly anticipated events in the Argentine national championships. However, this match makes history as the first time these archrivals will meet in the finals of the contintent-wide La Copa Libertadores championship.
Conmebol, the governing body for South American football, made the decision after the director of the competition, Federico Freire, and the referee of the match, Roberto Tobar, toured the field and found that it was not possible to play the game normally.
Neither of the teams had arrived to the pitch, however, several thousand Boca supporters, commonly referred to as "Xeneizes," were already in La Bombonera, ready to cheer for their team. "We wanted to play no matter what, we did not care about the rain," Mariano Gonzalez, 28-year-old Boca fan, told Reuters. Other fans refused to leave the stadium, despite the announcement made through the bullhorns. "Not even the storm stops the faithful Xeneizes," said Lucas Molina.
Rescheduling the match to Sunday might not even be enough, as the National Meteorological Service (SMN) forecast that the rains will continue. After this match, another one is scheduled to be played on Saturday, Nov. 24 at the Rivers' stadium, El Monumental.
The winner of these two matches will qualify for the Club World Cup organized by FIFA, which will be held in December in the United Arab Emirates. This tournament features the champions clubs of every region of the world.