Genoa offered River Plate and Boca Juniors on Monday the opportunity to play the second leg of the postponed Copa Libertadores final in the Italian city after it was postponed for a second time on Sunday.
The clash between the Buenos Aires arch-rivals was due to be played on Sunday after initially being postponed on Saturday following an attack on the Boca team bus by River fans bus near the Monumental stadium, which left Boca players with injuries from shards of broken glass and suffering the effects of smoke inhalation.
But the match, dubbed the biggest in the history of Argentine football, was postponed for a second time by South American football federation Conmebol, after Boca had called earlier demanding that River face a series of punishments including forfeiting the match.
“Our city, which historically, culturally and through sport, is close to Buenos Aires, feels a deep-rooted link to your two prestigious clubs founded by our countrymen who emigrated from Italy to Argentina in the early 1900s, and today twinned to our two clubs Genoa and Sampdoria,” a letter addressed to the presidents of the two clubs by Genoa deputy mayor Stefano Anzalone read.
The north-western port city of Genoa — still reeling from the deaths of 43 people when a bridge collapsed in August — offered River and Boca the opportunity to play the game at the city’s Marassi stadium.
“The painful recent events which have hit us, have reawakened a profound sense of community and of rediscovering our roots; therefore, as Sports Chief Executive of the Municipality of Genoa, I am communicating to you that our city would be honoured and makes itself available to host this important and prestigious Cup final and Argentine capital derby.
“We are at your disposal for anything you may need.”
Conmebol chief Alejandro Dominguez is due to meet with the Boca president Daniel Angelici and River Plate counterpart Rodolfo D’Onofrio on Tuesday to decide on a date for the fixture which had been 2-2 after the first leg.