At last, after much coming and going, it’s confirmed: the 2009 Torneo Apertura will begin this coming Friday (and in time for the new season, we’ve got a bit of a surprise for you, of which more later in the week…). A discussion on Saturday at the AFA saw a planned schedule for the weekend which has been changed after San Lorenzo – in midweek action against Tigre in the Copa Sudamericana – asked to play on Saturday instead of Friday night, but there’s some good news for all: the plan is to televise all Primera División matches.
That plan might not quite come to fruition in time for the first round of matches, because there are still one or two doubts about the state broadcasters’ technological capacities and how many channels there will be available, but it’s a step forward after some fears that only two or three matches of each round would be screened by Canal 7 following the breaking of the AFA’s contract with TSC last week.
The exact kick off times have yet to be confirmed and will be published here on HEGS as ever on Friday, but the days of the matches should be as follows: on Friday evening, Racing will visit Rosario Central and Independiente will host Newell’s Old Boys (nicely symmetrical, the two Avellaneda clubs playing the two Rosario sides); on Saturday Arsenal play Estudiantes, Gimnasia La Plata are at home to Godoy Cruz, Atlético Tucumán begin life in the Primera away to San Lorenzo and there’s a mini-clásico in General San Martín between Chacarita and Tigre; on Sunday Banfield entertain River, Huracán take on Lanús, Argentinos travel to Boca and Colón have a home tie against the defending champions, Vélez Sársfield.
In B Nacional, Friday night’s 9pm match will be Atlético Rafaela vs Belgrano de Córdoba. Saturday’s matches are Quilmes vs Boca Unidos, Instituto de Córdoba vs San Martín de Tucumán, Sportivo Italiano vs Independiente Rivadavia de Mendoza, All Boys vs CAI, Olimpo de Bahía Blanca vs Ferro Carril Oeste, Aldosivi de Mar Del Plata vs Deportivo Merlo, and Gimnasia de Jujuy vs Unión de Santa Fe. Sunday sees Defensa y Justicia vs Tiro Federal and San Martín de San Juan vs Platense. None of these matches will be televised, although later in the season some should be.