Riots in Argentina after Boca Juniors bus is attacked

Tanya Cunningham
November 25, 2018

The second leg of the 2018 Copa Libertadores between River Plate and Boca Juniors has been postponed due to crowd trouble and safety concerns.

The all-Buenos Aires clash, the first time Argentina's two biggest clubs had met for the title, was billed as the greatest final in the competition's 58-year history but will instead be remembered for the violence that left players bleeding and nearly all the windows on one side of the Boca bus shattered.

"One can't play in these conditions", CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez told reporters.

Discussions led to several delays in the scheduled kick-off time and the match has now been suspended until 1700 local time (2000 GMT) on Sunday.

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.

"I have asked the inspectors to act quickly, to make it possible for the game to be played", he said.

A subsequent statement filed by the CONMEBOL medical body assured that the Boca team was able to take the field despite the attack, as the two worst-affected players were not in the dressing room to be examined.

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Having originally been ruled out of the game due to his injuries, Perez made an incredible U-turn and started the game. "But we were not in the same conditions to play", Angelici said.

"We are being forced to play this game, I have just seen that Pablo [Perez] has a patch over his eye".

Reports suggested three Boca players were taken to hospital for assessment, with the game eventually postponed by 24 hours.

In a further development, Cesar Luis Merlo, a South American journalist, revealed what appeared to be an official document, signed by a CONMEBOL doctor to say that the injuries to the Boca players are "superficial" and "from the medical point of view there is no reason to suspend the game".

"They were throwing pepper gas, stones, everything", the Clarin website quoted Juan Carlos Crespi, a member of the Boca delegation, as saying.

Saturday night's contest, with the tie finely poised at 2-2 following the first leg at Boca, was postponed after Boca Juniors' bus was attacked on route to the stadium, leaving some of their players with serious injuries.

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