The two teams arrived in Abu Dhabi on a shared charter flight that took off on Sunday afternoon from Ezeiza and required more than 20 hours of travel, with a one-hour layover in the city of Madrid.
The new clash between Boca and Racing will be on Friday, January 20, at 12:30 p.m. in Argentina, at the Hazza Bin Zayed stadium, located about 150 kilometers (an hour and a half by car) from Abu Dhabi. The referee will be the World Cup player Fernando Rapallini, who will be assisted by Juan Pablo Belatti and Diego Bonfá. The arbitration team will be completed with Pablo Echavarría and Gabriel Chade as fourth and fifth, respectively, while Héctor Paletta will be in charge of VAR together with Fernando Espinoza and Pablo Dóvalo.
This final is part of a commercial and sports agreement signed by the AFA and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) in June last year.
The contract, which includes the dispute of the Argentine Super Cup for the next four years, came into effect in November of last year with the preparation of the Argentine national team prior to the World Cup in Qatar and the friendly against the local team, led by the Argentine Rodolfo ” Vasco” Arruabarrena.
However, the first official title of 2023 for world champion soccer carries a questionable decision since the Argentine Super Cup, the trophy that was reissued in 2012, is disputed by the champions of the tournament and the Argentine Cup, won in 2022 by Board of Paraná.
On December 29, the AFA confirmed in a statement that the protagonists of the final in the United Arab Emirates were going to be Boca, champion of the 2022 Professional League tournament, and Racing, winner of the Champions Trophy. The entity chaired by Claudio Tapia did not explain the reason for the displacement of the Board of Trustees of the definition but Víctor Blanco, head of the “Academy”, indicated that it was a commercial decision.
For the Professional League, meanwhile, the criteria used was that Racing won the Champions Trophy and Boca was the second team that achieved the most points in the 2022 annual table, just below its rival.
In this way, the Avellaneda club will go for its 39th official title and the second in recent months, without having been champion of any of the 2022 national competitions.
The team led by Fernando Gago was runner-up in the last LPF tournament and the team that scored the most points this year. However, to access the final of the Champions Trophy, he had to overcome Tigre (runner-up in the League Cup) in a playoff.
Next Friday’s final will also have the seasoning of the last precedent, with the exciting definition of last November 6 in San Luis, when the “Academy” kept the title after the decisive goal by Carlos Alcaraz in the 117th minute to put the match 2-1.
The celebration of the young man recently transferred to the Premier League sparked a fight between the two teams that led to a festival of expulsions by referee Facundo Tello, who left Boca with six players and without the possibility of continuing the match.
From here arises the second controversy surrounding this International Super Cup, since the AFA authorized the ten protagonists who were expelled by Tello in La Pedrera.
On Boca’s side there will be Frank Fabra, Luis Advíncula, Alan Varela, Sebastián Villa, Diego González and DT Hugo Ibarra without counting Carlos Zambrano, who no longer belongs to the club. On the other side, Jonathan Galván and Carlos Carbonero will also be able to play, while the aforementioned Alcaraz is already in England.
Those suspended must comply with the sanctions in the tournament that will begin on January 27, but it is not clear what will happen if there is someone expelled in Al Ain. Tickets for next Friday’s game have already gone on sale and there are six different categories: 7 dollars, 28, 42, 56, 70 and 98 the most expensive.
Outside of the controversies, the International Super Cup or the Al Ain Super Cup will be the first title at stake for world champion Argentine soccer, and both Boca and Racing will do their best to add a new star.
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