Riots in Argentina after Boca Juniors bus is attacked

Rosalie Gross
November 25, 2018

Windows were smashed as River Plate fans threw objects at the Boca Juniors bus ahead of the Copa Libertadores final - the continent's equivalent of the Champions League.

However, later on Saturday the city government ordered River's Monumental stadium closed for exceeding capacity limits and failing to keep exits clear, casting doubt on whether the second leg will go ahead on Sunday.

"They're forcing us to play this game under these conditions where we have teammates who are not well", Tevez told reporters outside the locker rooms.

Further reports suggest that the driver of the Boca Juniors bus almost collapsed upon arriving at the Monumental due to the effect of the gases, while some of the players were said to be vomiting, with Tévez, Wanchope y Espìnoza among the worst affected.

Tournament organisers Conmebol, the South American football governing body, said the match at River's Monumental stadium between the local arch rivals would kick-off at 7.15pm (2215 GMT), more than two hours after its scheduled start time.

Tevez was one that suffered in the attack with tear gas also set off. Perez came back from hospital - his eye bandaged - and would have been ill-advised to take the field. Its police escort made what locals say was the surprising decision to turn down Avenida Monroe, where it was surrounded by River fans and pelted with missiles.

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The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said it had initially delayed the match "due to the incidents with the Boca Juniors team bus".

River was given a bye into the quarterfinals and Boca was kicked out the competition.

It may also be that the president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, a former president of Boca, had reasons to get the game played: he will host the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, starting on Thursday. "But the truth is we're not in condition to play. I understand there is a lot of pressure on the presidents right now but I believe they have to do their job".

Fernando Gago said that "many players suffered" in the carnage. "It's not the best way to prepare a game". We have been waiting for seven hours.

River later announced the match had been suspended and would take place at 8pm on Sunday.

The Boca Juniors bus has been attacked in disgusting scenes on their way into the River Plate Stadium causing a number of players to be hospitalised according to reports.

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