BUENOS AIRES – The first leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Buenos Aires archrivals Boca Juniors and River Plate has been suspended due to heavy rains in the Argentine capital, soccer officials said Saturday.
“The game is suspended until tomorrow at 4 pm for reasons of force majeure,” Conmebol, South American soccer’s governing body, announced on Twitter.
The first leg was originally scheduled for Saturday at 5 pm at Boca’s La Bombonera stadium but instead will be played at that same venue on Sunday at 4 pm.
Sunday’s game will be the arch-rivals’ first-ever match-up in the final of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier club soccer tournament.
Despite the rain, some 1,000 River Plate fans gathered on a bridge outside the entrance to their team’s home ground, El Monumental stadium, where the second-leg match is scheduled to take place on Nov. 24.
“River Plate is unstoppable. Neither the rain nor the wind nor anyone can prevent us from coming,” Juan Fermin Rubio, one of the team’s fans, told EFE.
The River Plate supporters gathered at their own stadium because fans from visiting teams will not be allowed into the final matches for security reasons.
“We’re here to support our team because we aren’t allowed into La Bombonera. We want our players to feel all the support of River Plate fans gathering here and other places as well,” said Matias Ibarra, another River Plate supporter, said.
The fans chanted songs to encourage their team and to slight Boca Juniors, though some took shelter when the storm intensified.
Sonia Ortiz, who was wearing her lucky River Plate jersey, said she looked at the sky in the morning and worried that the match might be suspended.
In the end, she was right.