Argentina, always a country of exaggerations, waited for the end of the world and woke up with the end of the world: the superclásico between Boca and River that was to be played this Saturday at the Bombonera (17.00 local time, 21.00 in Spain) to begin to settle the Copa Libertadores, announced as the party of all time, was suspended by the tropical flood that began to fall in Buenos Aires since dawn. If something was missing from a previous one that went through politics, religion and Argentine society was a call from nature, and it happened: the kickoff was postponed for this Sunday, at 4:00 pm local time (8:00 pm Spanish time; Movistar Champions League), although it is also threatened by storm forecasts. The return is maintained on its original date, Saturday 24 at the Monumental.
It was as if the weather conditions were contagious the excessive, charged atmosphere that Buenos Aires lives since the two colossi of Argentine soccer qualified for the final of the tournament: the sky unloaded and in a day it rained almost the same amount of millimeters as the historical average of November. Some 20,000 people already occupied the stands of the Bombonera when the Conmebol, in the absence of two hours for the stipulated beginning, reported the postponement "for reasons of force majeure".
Buenos Aires was already through water early: the National Meteorological Service (SMN) He had reported two hours before the match that 91 millimeters of rain had already accumulated during the day. The cumulative average of the month is 108.
For reasons of force majeure the game is suspended for tomorrow, Sunday, November 11 at 4:00 p.m.
– CONMEBOL.com (@CONMEBOL) November 10, 2018
The teams did not even reach the stadiums. The one of River remained in the concentration of its stage, the Monumental one, and the players of Mouth had to lower of the bus to which they had been raised from a downtown hotel to travel to the Bombonera. In a last attempt, the Chilean referee Roberto Tobar went out to tour the field to see in person what had begun to be clear from the morning: that the normal thing would be to postpone the game. Very soon they had begun to circulate images of the lawn of the Bombonera full of puddles, more typical of a water sport than football.
Tobar tried a game simulation but the ball did not roll in most sectors. He barely advanced a few meters in other parts, to the delirium of the audience present in the stadium, which was getting wet and wanted the show to start. But the game would not only have been denatured but would have been a danger to the players and the spectators. The corridors of the Bombonera had been flooded, waterfalls formed on the steps and from the top of the stadium part of the structure for television cameras fell, which fortunately did not impact the public.
The president of Boca, Daniel Angelici, defended the decision of the Conmebol to suspend at least until Sunday the final of the Copa Libertadores against River. "The court is fine, but from 7 in the morning they fell 100 millimeters, it's not normal, and also in the access to La Boca there were a lot of flooded streets, so even though it seems that you can play now, it seems to me that The decision was the right one, "he told Fox.
"Maybe it could have been taken a little earlier, because there was a forecast of thunderstorms, we hope it can be played on Sunday." In the beginning we will be here all night, at the Bombonera, waiting to see what we can do manually, to play tomorrow " , he added.
The storm was an unexpected problem for an atypical decision of the Conmebol, which for the first time since 1987 organized a Copa Libertadores final in European time to improve the commercialization of its television rights. The postponement is also a problem for fans who came to Buenos Aires to watch the game. During the morning, several flights could not land in Ezeiza or Aeroparque Jorge Newbery and were sent to Montevideo (Uruguay) or Córdoba. At the exit of the stadium, some fans who had passage back to their countries of residence for Sunday morning had already begun to try a change.
At the time when the game should be played, when the rain had become more tenuous but already accumulated 95 millimeters in the day, Boca and River improvised a light training in their respective clubs. But the forecast for this Sunday does not seem better than on Saturday: rain and storms are also expected, as if the water were stubborn to quench the passion of the classic. "The outlook is not encouraging, the rains will continue until Tuesday," said Christian Garavaglia, SMN. That Boca and River define a Copa Libertadores is such an unusual and extraordinary event that it will have to be seen to be believed.