Last day kick off time

The four – yes, four – matches involving championship contenders on the final weekend of the Torneo Apertura 2008 will all be played simultaneously, on Sunday afternoon. The AFA announced on Tuesday that the games would kick off at 5:20pm, bringing them forward almost two hours for security reasons. It’ll be an interesting afternoon for anyone making their way around Buenos Aires…

Boca Juniors will play Colón de Santa Fe in La Bombonera, with Saúl Laverni – who caused controversy earlier in the season by using the term ‘Bolivians’ to abuse Gimnasia de Jujuy players – refereeing. Javier Collado will take charge of Tigre vs. Banfield in El Monumental de Victoria. In the Estadio Diego A. Maradona, Argentinos Juniors vs. San Lorenzo will be overseen by Gustavo Bassi, and Lanús, who go into the last round two points behind the pack, will host San Martín de Tucumán under the beady eye of Sergio Pezzotta.

If the championship isn’t decided this weekend – that is, if two or more teams finish level on points (goal difference and other next resorts aren’t used in the even of a tie at the top) – a ‘mini championship’ will be played on the 17th, 20th and 23rd of this month, with the fixtures being decided by a meeting of officials from the clubs involved at 9pm on Sunday at the AFA’s headquarters. The matches will be held in neutral venues.

In the event of only two teams being tied, the final will be played on Wednesday of next week.

San Lorenzo have already requested that if they’re involved, they’d like the matches to be played at El Monumental (home to River Plate) or the José Amalfitani (Vélez Sársfield). If the other sides don’t agree to those venues, the AFA are likely to propose El Cilindro (Racing) and the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata (the municipal ground where Estudiantes currently play their home matches).

For the rest of the weekend’s fixtures and kick off times, as usual you can check back on this site on Friday afternoon.

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4 thoughts on “Last day kick off time

  1. I’m curious, are there any particular reasons why certain clubs would like their play-off games in a particular stadium other than it being a suitable location? I’m not familiar with the geography of Buenos Aires. Is it simply because San Lorenzo are big enough to fill El Monumental or would they postively NOT like to play in Racing’s stadium, which I thought was also pretty big…? The rivalries of so many clubs playing in one city is one of the things that fascinates me most about Argentine football so I’d love to know.

    cant wait to watch it all unfold!

  2. Not happy with the change of kick-off times, tbh. For a start, is it going to be 30 degrees again? Some of the football played at this time last weekend was at walking pace, thought admittedly I didn’t see the game in Rosario which sounds like a thriller.

    Also from the European point of view, I was hoping to avoid the same kick off times as the Spanish and Italian matches which get big viewing figures also. So you just *know* JTV is going to crash some time around 8pm UK Time, and we’re going to have to listen to the second halfs on some online radio station….

    Finally, it really would have racked up the drama had Lanus been allowed to play the day before, win and put even more intense pressure on the other three. This set up probably ends Lanus’s slim chance of winning the title :-(

    Tigre it is then…

  3. I agree about Lanús, Matthew, they should’ve played on the Saturday, but I can understand this decision. The timing’s annoying but at least it won’t clash with Barcelona vs. Madrid (or, from my point of view, Spurs vs. United)! If I can make my computer work stably enough I’m going to attempt some form of ‘live coverage’ taking in all four matches at once, though whether my graphic’s card is capable of dealing with four video streams at once, I don’t know…

    Doctor Buzzard, welcome to HEGS. I’m not sure why San Lorenzo have already decided on their choices for the stadia, but the ones they’ve elected are generally considered the ones with the best facilities (Vélez’s ground is one of the most modern on the continent, and there’s a reason Argentina play all their matches at the Monumental). I think that’s probably got as much to do with it as the gate sizes, or they’d be happier at Racing than in Liniers…

  4. Doctor Buzzard, interesting question.

    Regarding the geography of Buenos Aires, well…Avellaneda (which the first big city south of Buenos Aires city limits) is closer to some areas of the proper City of Buenos Aires than River Plate stadium (located within the city limits but on the northern extreme).

    Boca Juniors are geographically closer to Racing Club and Independiente than they are to River Plate, despite Boca and River being both located within the city limits while Racing and Independiente are just across the (dirty) river Riachuelo.

    Now…San Lorenzo have fans in almost every corner of the country (as do the other four teams of the Big 5), but traditionally and because of geography, the majority of San Lorenzo fans live inside the City of Buenos Aires and most of them consider the trip to Avellaneda, although as I said is not a long one, to be somehow dangerous or uncomfortable.

    As a Racing supporter, I can tell you that historically, San Lorenzo have failed to bring an impressive number of fans down to Avellaneda.

    I don’t know if there are security reasons behind San Lorenzo wanting to play an eventual playoff match at River instead of Racing, but certainly it won’t be because of stadia capacity.

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