The 7,000 tickets that were made available to Real Madrid members on the team's official site for the Copa Libertadores final at the Santiago Bernabéu sold out in just two hours, according to CLARÍN. The tickets cost from €80 ($90.81) to €220 ($250). There reportedly are tickets available on resale sites for as much as €3,160 ($3,600) (CLARÍN, 12/2). REUTERS' Andrew Downie reported River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo accused CONMEBOL of "robbing the fans" by moving the Copa Libertadores final to Madrid. He said, "We have lost home advantage. As absurd as it may be, they made a decision. Some day, we are going to rethink what happened and we will remember it as a total disgrace" (REUTERS, 12/3). EL PERIÓDICO reported Spanish National Police Dir General Francisco Pardo Piqueras said that Spanish police are working with Argentine authorities to guarantee security for all fans who attend the game. He said that there will be Argentine police in Madrid to assist with security, but "did not reveal the number of agents who will be on duty." Pardo Piqueras added that the Spanish police "are familiar with this type of situation" (EL PERIÓDICO, 12/3).
It has been a "drawn-out process, but the long-awaited expansion" of the A-League "has moved a step closer, with a final management report to be submitted" to the board of Football Federation Australia on Tuesday, according to Ray Gatt of THE AUSTRALIAN. A-League Head Greg O’Rourke confirmed that "one last conversation" on Monday with the recently re-elected Victorian government regarding plans for a possible new stadium for expansion contender Team 11 "remained to be had before the lengthy report is handed over." The FFA board was scheduled to meet on Monday and is expected to make a decision on the two teams that will expand the competition from 10 to 12 for the '19-20 season. Six teams are in contention -- Canberra, Team 11, Macarthur South-West Sydney, Southern Expansion, Western Melbourne Group and South Melbourne. While he "gave nothing away," O’Rourke said that FFA management would make its final recommendations along with its report (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/3).
PLAY NICE: In Sydney, Emma Kemp reported FFA told A-League hopefuls to "quit the public sniping," warning it will not work in their favor at next week’s "expansion D-Day." The "claws have come out between some of the six remaining rivals" and it has not gone "unnoticed by governing body management." FFA CEO David Gallop wrote to all six hopefuls on Friday to "remind" them of their "obligation not to make any negative or disparaging comments in the media about other bids or the bid process." In the letter, Gallop "expressly drew attention to the expansion terms and conditions, which state that bidders must not use any media, including print, TV, radio or social, to disparage another" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/3).