Millonarios fans attacked their rivals’ team bus on Saturday, with CONMEBOL having now confirmed the game has been suspended for a second day
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The Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors has been suspended for a second day following the bus attack that marred Saturday’s original date for the game to take place.
Boca had requested for CONMEBOL to suspend the game, which is the second leg of the final, for a second time after their team bus was attacked by River fans on Saturday.
The Xeneizes travelled across Buenos Aires with the final all square at 2-2 after the opening game at La Bombonera, but their bus was showered with projectiles on the way to River’s El Monumental stadium, with some smashing windows of the vehicle.
Eventually the vehicle arrived at the ground, but Boca captain Pablo Perez and his team-mate Gonzalo Lamardo were taken to hospital for assessment, while other players appeared to have been affected by the use of pepper spray.
CONMEBOL medical officials deemed the injuries sustained to be “superficial” and approved the match to proceed despite Carlos Tevez’s protests that Boca were unfit to play .
The former Manchester United and City striker had claimed that he and a team-mate, seemingly shaken up by the experience, had both vomited and that he was angry with CONMEBOL’s attempts to get the game played .
After discussions that led to several delays, the game was eventually suspended for 24 hours until 5pm local time (8pm GMT) on Sunday .
But, with Boca having urged authorities to not let the game go ahead at all this weekend, that request has now been granted and the game will not take place on Sunday either.
“It is a shame that we are in a situation like this because of some misfits,” Dominguez told Fox Sports . “The image that has been sent to the world is the wrong one, this is not the football that we want.
“The conditions are not equal, given there is a team that was attacked. When the teams of each club enter the field, we want there to be equal conditions. We want to see a show.
“We believe that we must send a signal that there are no excuses. Let the team who scores more goals on the pitch win. The board of CONMEBOL has taken the decision that there is no equality in the current conditions.
“We have to provide the conditions so that both clubs have the ideal conditions for the final to be played. We will meet with the presidents of Boca and River in Asuncion to find a date and play this game.”
A Boca statement requesting the further postponement had read: “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, as agreed by the presidents of Boca and River on Saturday at El Monumental.
“Yesterday afternoon, Boca Juniors requested to postpone the match due to the incidents and it was established as a priority that it could be played under equal conditions.
“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, as well as the application of the corresponding sanctions provided for in article 18, so that CONMEBOL acts accordingly.”
Although Boca did not demand specific punishments for River, article 18 of the CONMEBOL statutes covers a wide range of sanctions, including; fines, cancellation of a match, obligation to play a game behind closed doors and withdrawal of a title or prize.
That could see the game, if it does eventually go ahead, played behind closed doors or, as a worse-case scenario for River, the title being awarded to Boca.
River had remained confident the match would go ahead prior to the confirmation, reminding fans in a tweet nine minutes after Boca released their statement that El Monumental’s doors opened at 1pm local time.
Indeed, the winner of the Copa Libertadores is due to play in the Club World Cup on December 18, meaning that, should the game not be cancelled completely and a victory awarded to Boca, there is a three-week window in which to get the game played.