Santos president critical of Copa Libertadores dates

The Brazilians' quarter-final against Bolivar will be played on Wednesday, much to the frustration of Luis Alvaro Ribeiro, who is unhappy with his side's sudden fixture congestion
Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro has criticised Conmebol's decision to schedule his side's Copa Libertadores quarter-final first leg with Bolivar on Wednesday on the grounds that it could spell trouble for television broadcasters.

The patron is frustrated that his team will have played three games in only seven days, having beat The Strongest on Thursday, and will now play Mogi Mirim in the Paulista Championship on Sunday before facing the Bolivian outfit midweek.

However, he also claimed the South American football governing body have taken an unnecessary risk in forcing the Peixe to play in such congested circumstances, stating that a possible injury to Neymar or elimination would lead to a drop in audience.

"They may be losing the goose that lays golden eggs, because the tournament's largest media product is Neymar," Luis Alvaro told Lancenet.

"He was the competition's top scorer last year, and is the most recognised player in the world, so they'd lose out if he was injured. Or even if Santos suffer an early exit, they may be disadvantaged that way."

"In football, the governing bodies only see their side and not the clubs. They do not realise the wear of travelling long distances and playing at a high intensity.

"On Wednesday we will face more travelling and altitude issues. It's complicated, but they do not look the side of the athlete."