River Plate fans took infinite delight in Sepp Blatter’s unnecessary translation of the Núñez club’s name to Spanish at the Club World Cup draw in Switzerland this morning before breathing a big sigh of relief at the draw.
“Club Atlético River Plate Río de la Plata,” as Joseph “José” Blatter called them, have avoided CONCACAF Champions League winners Club América from Mexico, who are on the other side of the draw.
Los Millionarios enter the competition at the semi-final stage and will play the winner of the Japanese league champions, Auckland City (Oceania Champions League winners) and the African champions, with the latter playing the winner of the former two teams in the quarter finals.
On the other side of the draw, the quarter finals see Club América against the Asian champions, with the winner progressing to play Barcelona in the other semi-final.
The tournament, hosted by Japan, takes place in December. The Copa Libertadores winners’ first game will be on December 16 at 7:30 AM (one to set your alarms for). The final is on December 20 at 8:00 AM (an extra half hour in bed). Obviously, it’s unthinkable that River won’t reach the final, but the third place play off is also on December 20 at 4:30 AM.
Blatter’s harmless error, (let’s face it, of all the problems FIFA’s gotten into this year, this is hardly top of the list) is insignificant, but it didn’t stop “Joseph,” “Blatter” and “Club Río de la Plata” from being top trends on Twitter here this morning.