ASUNCION: South America’s two club finals will be played behind closed doors, the continental confederation CONMEBOL has confirmed.

The final of the Copa Libertadores is scheduled for January 30 at Maracaná in Rio de Janeiro with the climax of the secondary Copa Sudamericana being staged a week earlier at the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes in Cordoba, Argentina.

A CONMEBOL statement said: “The Covid-19 pandemic, still expanding in South America, does not allow the holding of an event of this magnitude and importance with the presence of the public, even with a reduced capacity.”

CONMEBOL president Alejandro Domínguez took the decision after discussions with the leaders of the Brazilian CBF Rogerio Cabocio and Argentina’s Claudio Tapia.

More than 2,000 matches have been played in the state tournaments in Brazil without fans.

The final in Rio de Janeiro will be the second single-match decider in the history of CONMEBOL after the decision to follow the example of the UEFA Champions League.

The Libertadores final could be an all-Brazilian event after the first legs of the semi-finals earier this week Palmeiras win 3-0 away to Argentina’s River Plate and then Santos force a 0-0 draw away to Boca Juniors.