Uruguay to host Copa Libertadores final as test of World Cup 2030 bid

The Centenario stadium in Uruguay's capital Montevideo will host the finals of the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana tournaments in November, possibly with fans attending the matches despite the pandemic.

South American governing body, CONMEBOL, said on Thursday it picked Uruguay as host because of its good record in fighting the coronavirus.

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The country of about 3.5 million people has seen about 3,200 deaths from COVID-19, among the lowest rates in South America.

"The good health situation projected for November in Uruguay, a country that plans to vaccinate a large percentage of its population in July, was decisive in an exceptional year affected by the pandemic,'' CONMEBOL said.

The Centenario stadium will host the Copa Sudamericana final on Nov. 6, and the Copa Libertadores title match on Nov. 20.

"The single-match finals will be a kind of relaunch of the Centenario stadium to mark the South American bid to host the 2030 World Cup,'' CONMEBOL said.

The Centenario stadium was built for the first World Cup, which Uruguay hosted in 1930.

Uruguay has a joint bid with Argentina, Paraguay and Chile to host the 2030 showcase tournament.

CONMEBOL said Uruguayan football executives plan to deliver a "radical renovation'' of the Centenario in the next few years.