Details behind attack on Boca bus that postponed final

Sheila Mcguire
November 25, 2018

The decisive second leg of the continent's biggest tournament was postponed until Sunday after Boca's players suffered the effects of tear gas and broken glass when River fans pelted their coach with missiles as it arrived at El Monumental stadium.

The first leg of the Copa Libertadores final was played three weeks ago and ended 2-2.

Former Manchester United, Juventus and Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was one player affected by the tear gas.

The attack came despite the bus travelling with heavy police protection ahead of the second leg of the local derby between the two teams - dubbed the biggest club match in the history of Argentine football.

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Just minutes before the delayed kick-off, the teams had still not warmed up on the field. It has also been confirmed that fans will still be allowed to attend the re-scheduled game, with a tweet from River Plate's official Twitter account translating to: "We ask all fans to keep their tickets as they will be valid for tomorrow's game which will be played at 17:00".

It would appear that CONMEBOL, the South American confederation, was keen for the game to go ahead.

Tato Aguilera of TyC Sports reported that at least three Boca players were hurt, one being starting midfielder Pablo Perez who returned to the stadium with an eye patch.

The reporter claims Boca are now saying they are in no position to play the game due to the injured parties needing medical treatment at hospital.

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After initially appearing to postpone the match, Conmebol eventually chose to call off the game until Sunday - 5pm local time, 8pm in the UK.

CONMEBOL executives met with Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino, who came to Buenos Aires to attend the match, for a final call on whether the final should proceed or not.

River was given a bye into the quarterfinals and Boca was kicked out the competition. However, it does now seem likely that the match will be suspended and take place at a later date. Away supporters are banned from football matches in Argentina due to recurring violence in and around the grounds. The tie is evenly poised following an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first leg at Boca's stadium, La Bombonera, last week. Had River won, Boca would surely have appealed against the result and in the circumstances, it would have been hard for anybody to concentrate on the actual game.

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