Peru calls off Copa Libertadores match, then allows it
LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peru’s government allowed a Copa Libertadores match to proceed on Tuesday shortly after it had called it off amid protests over rising fuel and food prices. The confirmation that local Sporting Cristal and Brazil’s Flamengo will play came 2 hours and 30 minutes before kickoff.
President Pedro Castillo announced the decision to end a curfew in the capital Lima as local media debated his administration’s decision to suspend the match at the National Stadium.
Peru’s capital and its main port were under a tight curfew instituted by Castillo for most of the day in response to the violent protests, with armed soldiers and police deployed to enforce the measure.
Three hours before the time the match was supposed to start, the country’s sports authority said in a statement that the Copa Libertadores match would not go ahead.
South American soccer body CONMEBOL, which had also confirmed the suspension on Twitter, later reversed course to say the match would still take place.
The Peruvian capital is scheduled to host another Copa Libertadores match on Wednesday between Alianza Lima and Argentina’s River Plate.
Defense Minister José Gavidia told journalists Tuesday that the curfew was motivated by intelligence indicating there had been plans for broader violence, especially in central Lima.
___ AP Sports Writer Mauricio Savarese contributed to this report in Sao Paulo.
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