CONMEBOL approve Copa Libertadores 4,000m above sea level game

CONMEBOL approve Copa Libertadores 4,000m above sea level game

CONMEBOL has given their approval that the Villa Ingenion stadium, home to Bolivian side Always Ready can stage home Copa Libertadores games. The decision is somewhat controversial given that the ground is located at 4,150 meters above sea level and is one of the highest stadiums in the world, only surpassed by the Peruvian Daniel Alcides Carrión Stadium which is home to Union Minas and is located at 4,388 meters.

Always Ready celebrated this decision: “The Copa will be played at home” claimed the Bolivian side on their Instagram account.

The Bolivian team will debut in the Libertadores in the second qualifying phase in a tie against Sporting Cristal. The first leg will be played in El Alto and the second leg in Lima. The Peruvian side are used to playing at the height of cities like Arequipa or Cusco but this time the challenge will be even greater for Sporting as they head to Bolivia.

If Always Ready advance to the next round, they would play the winner of the clash between Academia Puerto Cabello or Defensor Sporting with these teams located at sea level, so the contrast for the teams heading to Bolivia would be enormous. Always Ready are dreaming of reaching the promised land of the group stage with no side keen to travel to El Alto where visiting teams will need additional oxygen to handle the extreme altitude.

Controversy to high profile games being held at altitude in El Alto came to a head in 2019 when referee Víctor Hugo Hurtado died when overseeing a domestic league game between Always Ready and Oriente Petrolero. Many travelling sides complain about playing international games against Bolivia in La Paz (3,640 meters above sea level) with travelling fans and teams no set to endure conditions that are even more extreme in El Alto.


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