A virtual tickets scheme has been launched for Saturday’s Copa Libertadores final between Palmeiras and Santos, with the football showpiece to be held behind closed doors due to COVID-19 at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã.
The Ingresso Solidário campaign is a joint venture between the two competing Brazilian clubs and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL). Earlier this month, CONMEBOL confirmed that the delayed 2020 Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana campaigns would conclude behind closed doors due to the pandemic.
Alejandro Domínguez, president of CONMEBOL, said: “It will be a legacy that the CONMEBOL Libertadores final will leave to Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, which has always welcomed us very well, even in a complicated moment like this. CONMEBOL supports the action driven by the finalist clubs and which aims to help people in need who live in Rio. The single final leaves a much broader legacy than just the sports field.”
As well as acting as a souvenir for fans of Palmeiras and Santos, Ingresso Solidário is designed to fulfil a social role with all proceeds heading towards nine institutions that work on COVID-19 projects in Rio. They are: CIEDS, Voz das Comunidades, Instituto Reação, Rede Cidadã, Viva Rio, Luta Pela Paz, Casa do Caminho, Fundação Doutor Amaral Carvalho and Lar Celeste Raio de Luz.
Sales of the virtual tickets commenced yesterday (Tuesday) and for R$20 (£2.70/€3/$3.70) fans will receive an e-ticket for the final, as well as the chance to win signed shirts from the competing teams. Each club will present 22 of its participating fans with these shirts.
President of Palmeiras, Maurício Galiotte, said: “Being in the CONMEBOL Libertadores final is a very special moment in the history of Palmeiras. The crowd is the reason we exist as an institution and what moves this sport to be so fascinating.
“Having the opportunity to reframe this challenging moment that we are going through, in an action that will help society as a whole through the income from virtual tickets, shows us that the legacy of this final goes beyond the four lines (of the pitch).”
President of Santos, Andres Rueda, added: “The pandemic was something that transformed the lives of all people in 2020. Being able to use our good sporting moment to boost the fight against this disease fulfils Santos’ social function.
“We are very pleased to be part of this action, even more clearly showing the union of the two teams and CONMEBOL, in the main tournament of the Americas, in favour of serious entities that promote exemplary initiatives.
“We are sure that our fans will be with us in thought, encouraging our team. It will be a different show, without a doubt, without our crowded stands, but CONMEBOL has been carrying out work aimed at the safety of everyone and this should be praised.”
The Maracanã and Estadio Mario Kempes were awarded hosting rights to the two finals back in October 2019. The stadia in Brazil and Argentina will be the venues for only the second-ever staging of the finals in their new format.
CONMEBOL decided in February 2018 that the finals would change to a single-game format from the 2019 season – a switch that the body said would be more lucrative for the teams involved as the governing body mirrors the strategy used by UEFA for its Champions League and Europa League competitions. The competitions had previously operated under a two-leg final system.