Copa Libertadores final off after attack on Boca bus

Things got wild when a Boca team-bus tried to wind its way through the streets of Buenos Aires en route to the stadium amid a sea of River Plate fans, who hurled projectiles at the vehicle as it sped past.

Clarin said six players had vomited in the dressing-room after gas drifted into bus windows smashed by River fans outside the stadium. Having the desired effect, some of the players on board suffered from the ill-effects of this attack.

The head of Conmebol's medical team was reported to be assessing if the match could go ahead after the controversy. It will not be played behind closed doors, which raises the prospect of angry Boca fans making for the stadium to take their revenge. On that occasion, River were awarded the game.

There were desperate attempts to stage the game on its scheduled day, first with an hour's delay, at 6pm local time, and then at 7.15, 7.30 and 7.45, before the abandonment was finally announced to deafening whistles from the 70,000 inside the ground at around 7.20. The presidents of Boca and River are meeting in the Monumental to decide what how to proceed.

The full document read: "I'm writing to you to inform about today's incidents in which Boca players suffered superficial skin injuries to their arms, legs, face and torso, with two players [those sent to hospital] reportedly suffering eye injuries which our medical team has not been able to confirm".


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.

The Boca president, Daniel Angelici, said: "We've had stones thrown at us before". They are forcing us to play the game.

Tevez's teammate and former Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago added: "I can't believe it. We can't play like this". We don't have a leg to stand on: if we have to play, we are going to play. But it is little solace to the supporters who eagerly awaited this showpiece final, in many cases spending thousands of dollars and travelling vast distances to see the action.

However, it was later confirmed the game had been suspended until 5pm local time (8pm United Kingdom time) on Sunday. The damage, though, to the reputation of Conmebol and Argentinian football has already been done.


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