Sat. Feb 23rd, 2019

"The Libertadores was a sleeping cup, forgotten in time" | sports

"The Libertadores was a sleeping cup, forgotten in time" | sports

Alejandro Domínguez (Asunción, Paraguay, 46 years old) became interested in adolescent politics. He created the Student Center of the San Andrés School, where he did the secondary. He studied Economics in Kansas, to then focus on communication. He was general director of the newspaper La Nación and founded Diario Crónica and radio AM 970. He started as director of Olimpia in 1996. In 2016, after the FIFA Gate that splashed on the Conmebol, he became president of the highest body of South American football. Now he receives EL PAÍS in Madrid before the final of the Libertadores exported to Spain.

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Question. How would you describe your afternoon of November 24?

Answer. An afternoon of decision making. I knew that I had to think about the common good first. My personal interest had to be left out. A day with a lot of pressure.

P. Did you feel shame?

R. Shame on others, yes. The most humiliating thing that happened to a human being happened to us, they spit on us in the field. It does not enter my head, it seems primitive. A day that will be marked by fire in my memory.

P. Will not South American football forget it?

R. In the future it will remain as an anecdote, in the present it is under study. You have to learn and, above all, take steps so that this does not happen again.

P. A bad anecdote ...

R. This was seen coming. At some point something was going to happen that was going to demand self-criticism and the meeting of deep solutions to a problem that is there and that we all knew somehow. But since no concrete event had occurred, the concrete measures were not being taken.

P. If they knew him, could not have been avoided?

R. From the part of the organization everything was foreseen. But we can only foresee what is going to happen within the field of play and ask for assistance and collaboration from the police or national security. This is beyond the responsibility of the Conmebol, because they are vandalism that occurred on the street. That is a jurisdiction of the police.

P. Is the responsibility of the police?

R. Definitely, it was not from Conmebol.

P. What went wrong?

R. I'm not to judge that.

P. Do you understand that Boca and River directives have never agreed?

R. It's natural. The two play to win.

P. But the teams play, not the managers, right?

R. The game is played from the top down and from the bottom up. Everyone plays here. Each one has to mark his presence.

P. Boca wanted to win without playing?

R. He did what River had done in reverse. You have to use all the resources you have to defend the rights of your club. I am required that all participants be respected.

P. The Bombonera had its end, the Monumental, no. Do you understand that River feels damaged?

R. In no sense. The Monumental had its end, but it was not possible to play.

P. So, was the responsibility of River?

R. The responsibility for what happened within the field of play, since the match was canceled and what happened with special guests such as Infantino [presidente de la FIFA], me and other people. They spit on us, they mistreated us, they insulted us. In addition, even D'Onofrio himself [presidente de River] He had to dodge a bunch of guys who were running. The police found oversold tickets and there were more people in the stadium than allowed.

P. Did you talk to President Mauricio Macri?

R. No, but he was always informed of subsequent decisions.

P. And did you agree that it will be played outside of Buenos Aires?

R. He understood that the conditions were not there. You could not play in Buenos Aires, or in Argentina. First, because an unjustifiable event had occurred, which is to believe that with violence you can win a game. At the time that happened, the nature of this sport had been lost. From that moment, the game was suspended. And the conditions were not given to the next match either. There was that strange atmosphere in the atmosphere, with threats and warnings.

P. Did you threaten him?

R. We received several types of messages that did not give certainty of security.

P. For you?

R. For the whole Conmebol and for me in particular.

P. Whose?

R. They are issues that make the atmosphere. You had to look for a neutral field and Madrid meets all the requirements for this game.

P. The first option was Miami, then Doha and finally Madrid?

R. No, there were a lot of options. I want to thank all the cities that were offered. Milan, Genoa, Medellin, Belo Horizonte, Asunción, also Doha and Miami.

P. Whose idea was it to play at the Bernabéu?

R. Of playing in the Bernabéu there was no original idea, yes of playing in Madrid. It was an idea of ​​mine. I consulted Florentino [Pérez, presidente del Real Madrid], in a telephone conversation between friends, his analysis as a football man. He told me that not only did he feel good, but he also gave us the Bernabéu.

P. The role of the RFEF?

R. Subsequently, Luis Rubiales [presidente de la federación], he expressed himself in favor. Aleksander Ceferin [presidente de la UEFA] He also supported it. And I told Infantino that he wanted to have his approval.

P. Is River-Boca one of the largest capital cities in South America?

R. I do not think there are two clubs in the world like Boca and River.

P. Did they lose their most important capital?

R. No, we won it. This was a sleeping cup, forgotten in time. He had stayed in the memory of many people, but he no longer had the life he has today. Aroused so much competitiveness in South America. The semifinals were two beautiful finals and, for the first time in 58 years, River and Boca playing in final instances. The Liberators are alive and strong.

P. Whose football is it?

R. The soccer capital is in South America. And soccer is of the mass.

P. And why is it played in Madrid? Was not their main capital taken away from the fans?

R. Why?

P. They will not be able to watch their game at home.

R. How many Argentines live in Spain? They have no right to watch their match ...

P. More rights than River subscribers?

R. There were two games, one that could not be played in Argentina, and the third one that has to be done in neutral field as it is foreseen in the regulations. There is a lesson to be learned. We are all responsible for the game to begin and end within the field. If this does not happen, the regulation says that when minimum conditions are not guaranteed, the administration can look for a neutral field. The neutral field that we find where more Argentines live is Spain. The Argentine is Argentine where he lives.

P. Is not the club's engine its people?

R. More than one million Argentines live in Europe, 350,000 in Spain. The airport with the greatest connectivity with Latin America is Barajas. In terms of seeking neutrality, no other country in South America has the population of Argentines that Spain has.

P. ¿The Bernabéu ensures peace?

R. It has the conditions so that a game like this can develop normally.

P. How is the Conmebol before FIFA?

R. The Conmebol has changed, we have become professionalized. He showed the world that this is an end that interested the world. We are proactive, we promoted the VAR, we are promoting an exit to the Club World Cup to be beneficial for all.

P. Is there a plan for South American players to stay on the continent?

R. We have changed so that there is better income and that this income reaches the players, technicians and infrastructure. Between 2016 and 2018, we doubled the prizes in our club tournaments. And thanks to the first tenders of our history, for the 2019-2022 cycle our revenues will be 1,400 million dollars.

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