July 6, 2011 / 10:20 PM / 8 years ago

Copa America final gets Monumental ok after fan riot

A River Plate fan runs from water sprayed by the police at the end of the Argentine First Division playoff soccer match against Belgrano in Buenos Aires, June 26, 2011. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

SANTA FE (Reuters) - The Copa America final will go ahead at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires despite damage caused by rioting River Plate fans following their team’s recent relegation, organisers said on Wednesday.

“It’s going to be tight but we’ll get there,” tournament organising committee president Jose Luis Meiszner said after an inspection of the giant stadium by South American Football Confederation officials.

The final, the only match of the 12-nation tournament to be played in the capital, is scheduled for July 24 at the 62,000-capacity Monumental that doubles as the national stadium.

Workers are racing against the clock to repair the damage after River “barrabrava” hooligan fans rioted after the team’s 3-1 aggregate defeat 10 days ago in a playoff with Belgrano, who were promoted from the Nacional B division.

“We were worried about it (but) the mere possibility of having to think about a change (of venue) would have been pathetic,” Meiszner told reporters.

The damage includes 4,000 seats ripped out of their fixtures in the stands, many thrown onto the pitch, along with broken glass barriers and windows.

Reporting by Rex Gowar; editing by Mark Meadows; to query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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