Copa Libertadores: authorities could change 2022 final venue

Copa Libertadores: authorities could change 2022 final venue
Infrastructure at the Estadio Monumental, owned by Barcelona (yellow jerseys), is not up to Conmebol’s standards. Photo: Celso Pupo/Shutterstock

South American football confederation Conmebol is considering the possibility of altering the venue of the 2022 Copa Libertadores final on October 29, taking it away from the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil and choosing another country to host the match instead. 

Rumors are swirling that the Estadio Monumental — owned by local side Barcelona SC — does not meet Conmebol’s requirements to host a continental final, especially with regard to its infrastructure for TV broadcasting. 

The Copa Libertadores is South American football’s equivalent of Europe’s Champions League, and its final match is one of the continent’s most watched events — in Brazil alone, last year’s final between Palmeiras and Flamengo drew nearly 40 million viewers. 

Barcelona SC’s Vice President Rafael Verduga said a potential USD 3 to 4 million investment in the stadium is on the radar to carry out the necessary improvements — but the clock is ticking. Conmebol is already discussing the possibility of moving the event.

Curiously, if a switch went ahead, it would be the second such alteration this year. Authorities already changed the venue of the second-tier Copa Sudamericana final to the Estadio Mario Kempes in Cordoba, Argentina, after Brazilian authorities asked for it to be moved away from Brasília due to the proximity to general elections.