President Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador and Alejandro Domínguez, head of South America’s top football authority Conmebol, signed an agreement that guarantees that the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil will host the final of this year’s Copa Libertadores continental football tournament, scheduled for October 29.
The meeting was intended to ward off rumors originally published by Brazilian news website Globo Esporte suggesting that Guayaquil did not meet Conmebol’s infrastructure requirements. Whispers of a possible alternative venue for the Copa Libertadores final then grew louder after Guayaquil witnessed an unprecedented gang-related wave of violence.
Now, in addition to confirming that the match will indeed take place at the Estadio Monumental — home of Ecuador’s most popular club, Barcelona — the agreement establishes several national, departmental, and municipal-level responsibilities, which include modifications to Guayaquil’s “hotel, food, tourism, and transportation sectors.”
According to Sports Minister Sebastián Palacios, who attended the deal’s signing alongside Guayaquil Mayor Cynthia Viteri and Ecuadorian Football Federation chief Francisco Egas, “the city will fulfill all the requirements.”