FIFA confirmed it: Lionel Scaloni’s team, with Lionel Messi as captain, will host Paraguay at the Unique Mother of Cities Stadium.
The Argentina National Team will play its second home commitment in the South American Qualifiers towards the Qatar 2022 World Cup in Santiago del Estero.
It will be on November 12 at 9:00 p.m. against Paraguay at the Unique Mother of Cities Stadium, which this year had been designated as one of the venues for the Copa América that was to be played in Argentina and Colombia but was suspended due to the coronavirus.
The Argentine Football Association submitted a request to FIFA to include the Santiago del Estero stadium among the possible scenarios to play the Qualifiers since it had not been chosen in the first place.
Argentina’s debut as a local was on the first date, with a 1-0 victory over Ecuador in the Bombonera.
The Sole Mother of Cities Stadium cost around 2,000 million pesos and has a capacity for 30 thousand spectators. Its construction had been presented within the framework of the Argentine bid, in conjunction with Uruguay, to host the 2030 World Cup, a project that did not materialize.
In the run-up to a new double playoff date (on November 17, visit to Peru) it was speculated that Argentina would host Paraguay again in Buenos Aires and the Cilindro de Avellaneda had emerged as an alternative to the Bombonera. It is worth remembering that the Monumental is being remodeled and not even River will act as a local there.
The desire of Claudio Chiqui Tapia and the executive secretary of the AFA, Pablo Toviggino, to take the party to Santiago del Estero had a decisive obstacle since hotel openings were not authorized in the province and in this way it would be impossible to event logistics.
But finally, as announced in the last hours by the provincial chief of staff, Elías Suárez, the hotels will open their doors from Monday, October 26.
That decision ended up speeding up the proceedings before FIFA. On Tuesday a team of Conmebol employees inspected the stadium and gave the final ok.
“The stadium is perfect and meets the conditions,” said Gonzalo Belloso, an Argentine leader who works as Deputy Secretary General for Soccer and Director of Development for Conmebol.
“If it’s Messi to be called up and play the game, I don’t know. But that the Argentine National Team is going to play a game in Santiago del Estero in 2020, it is almost certain, ”Toviggino anticipated in January.
Toviggino is more than the president of the Santiago soccer league. In the field of the ball, he is considered the Chief of Cabinet of the AFA of Chiqui Tapia and is a friend of the governor of Santiago, Gerardo Zamora, who in May proudly said that the “mission accomplished” in relation to the stadium was carried out on time. record.
The works began in June 2018 and were completed in just under two years through a strong investment from the provincial government. As reported, the initial tender was for 984 million pesos, but the final expense would have exceeded 1.5 billion pesos.
In January of this year, due to a strong rainstorm and wind, part of the roof that was being placed was blown off. But beyond those inconveniences that did not cause injuries, the stage was ready in time and form to host the match between Uruguay and Paraguay, for the fifth date of zone A of the Copa América, which was finally postponed.
“Tapia has a very specific idea with the Santiago del Estero stadium. This project is very important for Argentine football and without any doubt it will give it the necessary significance, “Toviggino said earlier this year in statements on Public TV.
And he added: “He said it on several occasions and speaks in the most important places in the world of football about the construction of the Santiago del Estero stadium: he already took it as his own. There is no doubt that Argentina is going to play a knockout date at the stadium. “