Argentinian clubs seek Copa Libertadores postponement

Four of the five Argentinian football clubs participating in this year’s Copa Libertadores have asked for the tournament’s scheduled restart to be postponed by at least a week.

South America’s top club competition was halted in March after the second round of group matches because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) last week announced that the annual tournament would resume on September 15, behind closed doors and with strict health protocols in place.

While several South American leagues have said they will restart before September, the Argentinian Football Association is yet to indicate when the Superliga Argentina might resume.

According to a report in Argentina’s Ole newspaper, Boca Juniors, River Plate, Tigre and Defensa have asked the Argentinian Football Association to submit a formal request to CONMEBOL, requesting that the tournament’s return be pushed back by at least seven days.

The clubs claim that rivals from other countries will have an unfair advantage for having played in their own domestic leagues before the Copa Libertadores begins.

The only team that did not join the petition was Racing Club.

Argentina’s mandatory lockdown will run until at least July 17 and, unlike most other South American nations, there has been no special dispensation for clubs that allows them to train.

Argentinian health minister Gines Gonzalez described CONMEBOL’s decision to restart the continental competition as “a bit arbitrary”. He said government officials are currently discussing the resumption of Argentina’s domestic competitions under stringent health and safety guidelines.