Violence erupts as Copa Libertadores final postponed due to bus ambush

Cristina Cross
November 25, 2018

The first leg at Boca's ground on November 11 ended 2-2 and the second leg was taking place at River's home in front of their own fans.

In addition, Argentinian football reporter Peter Coates tweeted an image showing former Manchester United and Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez struggling with the effects of the gas used to disperse the crowd.

There then followed a series of announcements that kick-off had been delayed, first until 6 p.m., an hour after initially scheduled, and then at 7:15, 7:30 and 7:45.

River Plate fans are injured after violent scenes outside the Estadio Monumental
Image River Plate fans receive treatment after the violent scenes

Pepper spray and tear gas were reportedly deployed as the Boca players were caught in the middle of the action. With entire justification, Boca did not want to play the game, while River came to the realisation that a title won under such conditions would inevitably be stained.

Footage apparently from inside the Boca dressing room showed the players groggy and disorientated.

Boca Juniors captain Pablo Perez and midfielder Gonzalo Lamardo were treated at a hospital after River Plate fans threw projectiles at their team bus on its way to the River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires, Telam reported.

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"They're obliging us to play", said the forward Carlos Tevez. They're forcing us to play.

"He said the game shouldn't go ahead tomorrow & suggested that CONMEBOL want to give the trophy to River".

Dominguez met with club directors and FIFA President Gianni Infantino. On that occasion, Boca were disqualified from the competition.

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As time drifted by and delay added to delay, it came to seem increasingly that the match, billed as the derby to end all derbies, would never start.

There will be no Boca fans at the second leg as travelling support has been banned at all Argentine football matches since 2013 due to hooliganism. The tie is evenly poised following an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first leg at Boca's stadium, La Bombonera, last week.

River Plate fans, who appear to be behind the attack, are the only fans permitted to attend the game this evening due to a rule prohibiting away fans from appearing at games between the two rivals.

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The Superclasico is regarded as one of the football world's greatest rivalries, not just for the play on the pitch (if that even eventuates) but for the potentially chaotic passion of its fans - fully on display when Boca supporters packed out their home stadium simply to witness its players in training before the big final.

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