Copa Libertadores: Boca Juniors call for final against River plate to be delayed further

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Copa Libertadores: Boca Juniors call for final against River plate to be delayed further
Football final postponed after team bus attack

Boca Juniors have asked for Sunday’s rescheduled Copa Libertadores second leg against River Plate to be delayed further.

Violence forced Saturday’s second leg in Buenos Aires between the two bitter Argentine rivals to be delayed.

The Boca Juniors team bus was attacked by River Plate fans on its way to the game at River’s Estadio Monumental.

The game was rearranged for Sunday at 20:00 GMT, 24 hours later than planned but is now in doubt again.

Boca, who were held to a 2-2 draw in the first leg, have urged South American football’s governing body Conmebol to take action and allow those affected by Saturday’s incidents to recover further.

“Club Atletico Boca Juniors made a formal presentation to Conmebol on Sunday to request that the final of the Copa Libertadores be played in conditions of equality,” said a club statement.

“After the acts of violence suffered in the vicinity of the stadium, having noted the magnitude and seriousness of them and the consequences they have generated in the establishment, Boca considers that these conditions are not met and requests the suspension of the match.”

Tensions were high in Buenos Aires ahead of Saturday’s match

Boca players suffered cuts from the glass from broken windows and were also affected by the tear gas used by police to disperse the crowds.

A number of players, including Boca’s former Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus striker Carlos Tevez, reportedly suffered from dizziness and vomiting and were being treated by club doctors.

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

Reports said Boca’s Pablo Perez and Gonzalo Lamardo had been taken by ambulance to hospital, the former with slivers of broken glass in his eyes and the latter a cut on his head.

Earlier, the head of Conmebol, Alejandro Dominguez said he wanted the rescheduled game to pass off smoothly with the safety of the players, technical officials and fans guaranteed.

This is the first time in the 58-year history of the Copa Libertadores the two teams have faced each other in the final of the competition.

“We call for a peaceful final with respect between rivals to show the best face of South America to the world,” he said.

“We want immediate action from the authorities and will help to identify, capture and prosecute those responsible.”

The Copa Libertadores is the showpiece club competition in South America, equivalent to the Champions League in Europe. The clubs had agreed to a ban on away fans which mirrors an existing ban in domestic football in Argentina.

Three years ago, a last-16 Copa tie between River and Boca at the latter’s La Bombonera ground was abandoned at half-time after Boca fans attacked the River players with pepper spray in the tunnel.

Boca were kicked out of the competition, while River were given a bye into the quarter-finals.

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