Boca wants Copa Libertadores final suspension after attack
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Boca Juniors requested the suspension of the Copa Libertadores final against River Plate, which is currently set to be played later Sunday, and also that South American’s soccer body CONMEMBOL sanctions their archrivals for the incident.
The second leg of the final was postponed 24 hours to Sunday after Boca players were injured when their bus was attacked by River fans with rocks and sticks on Saturday.
Boca said in a statement that it told CONMEBOL the two Buenos Aires teams would not be playing under equal conditions after the attack. Team captain Pablo Perez had an eye injured by shattered glass and would likely be ruled out for the match.
Boca also said it wants River to be punished after the attack near the Monumental de Nunez stadium. The club wants CONMEBOL to consider River’s disqualification from the tournament because of the behavior of its fans.
The South American soccer body is yet to respond to the request. River has opened the stadium’s gates as scheduled.
On Saturday CONMEBOL doctors said there were no medical reasons to suspend the match. CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez disagreed and accepted the postponement 10 minutes before kickoff.
Boca and River drew 2-2 in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final two weeks ago. This is the first Copa Libertadores final played between the two archrivals.
Several Boca players were injured by the attack and some also suffered the consequences of police use of tear gas and pepper spray outside the vehicle.
Boca captain Pablo Perez and teenager Gonzalo Lamardo were taken to nearby hospitals, where fans gathered in support. Perez had injuries to his arms and an eye, according to images of Boca’s locker room shared on social media. Lamardo had trouble breathing because of the gas.
After the match was postponed on Saturday, some of the more than 66,000 River fans also tried to storm into the dressing rooms. Others clashed with police outside.
Boca fans could not attend the final at the Monumental de Nunez Stadium because of a 2013 ban on away fans in Argentina.