BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Copa America organizers are concerned that Monumental stadium, ransacked by River Plate hooligans following the team's demotion last week to Argentina's second division, is not presently in condition to host the final on July 24 and alternative venues should be considered.
Organizing committee chief Jose Luis Meiszner told the Telam news agency on Tuesday that the field had been torn up, concession areas wrecked and media areas were not ready ''for an event of this magnitude.''
He said organizers needed to decide quickly where the final would be held, although he did not entirely rule out Monumental. The most likely alternative is La Plata, which hosted the opening match on July 1.
''As organizers, our desire is not to change anything,'' Meiszner said, meaning Monumental is still the preferred venue. ''But today we have a stadium ... that is not in condition for the final. As president of the organizing committee, I have to be assured the final can be held there, and there is not much time.''
The venue at La Plata is Argentina's most modern stadium, but the condition of the playing surface was widely criticized in the July 1 opening match between Argentina and Boliva, and in the July 3 match between Brazil and Venezuela.