The second leg of the Copa Libertadores has been postponed and rescheduled after the Boca Juniors team bus was attacked on the way to River Plate’s El Monumental stadium ahead of kick-off.
On a chaotic evening in Buenos Aires, the start of the match was put back twice as confusion reigned in the hours beforehand, with River eventually confirming via Twitter that the match had been abandoned entirely.
PAPELÓN MUNDIAL | La Prefectura Naval avanza contra hinchas de River sobre Libertador y Monroe: piedras, gases lacrimógenos y balas de goma 👇pic.twitter.com/xIEWPhkY5v
— Popular (@populardiario) November 24, 2018
According to reporters at the scene, the Boca bus was pelted with stones and had several windows broken, with several players being treated for cuts.
Members of the squad were also left complaining of dizziness and nausea reportedly brought on by the thick plumes of tear gas that police were using to control the thronging masses.
Boca players Pablo Perez and Gonzalo Lamardo were taken to hospital, with the former suffering a head injury and the latter having to have thin slivers of broken glass removed from his eye.
It was all too much for FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who fled the scene nestled at the very centre of a 30-man phalanx of bodyguards…
— TNT Sports LA (@TNTSportsLA) 24 November 2018
After the game was called off, Boca striker Carlos Tevez appeared on television chastising CONMEBOL for their decision to replay the fixture just 24 hours later despite the state some of the members of his team had been left in.
I think this is a shame. What CONMEBOL is doing is a shame. I say this personally. If someone wants to take action against me for it, do it, I accept it.
Pablo Perez (team captain) was in the hospital and they are forcing us to play. It is a shame.
There were two Boca players in the hospital, another one vomiting, I was vomiting too, everyone sneezing.
Tevez then went on to imply that, had Boca been responsible for the violence, the authorities might not have been so lenient.
Of course this game was almost doomed and River was close to getting the cup, because they do what they want.
At this time, River did whatever they wanted to, so we talk about anything else.
If this was Boca, we would be already thrown out and River would get the cup.
As things stand, the Copa Libertadores final is scheduled to take place today (Sunday) at 5pm after River reportedly paid a fine to get their stadium re-opened.
Understandably, the Boca players do not wish to play at all amid concerns over their safety, with club president Daniel Angelici vowing that, should his team be forced to take part and lose, he shall contest the result with CONMEBOL.
Never a dull day.