Copa Libertadores final off after attack on Boca bus


Boca's team bus was attacked upon its arrival at the stadium as it was pelted with missiles from the River Plate supporters. Having the desired effect, some of the players on board suffered from the ill-effects of this attack.

Reports on Sunday morning [AEDT] indicated that while South American soccer's governing body (CONMEBOL) had wanted the match to go ahead with a delayed kick-off time, River Plate and Boca Juniors came to a "gentlemen's agreement" not to play on the night. Although this decision seems a little bit optimistic, perhaps.

Tear gas then entered the bus, although it is not clear whether that was from police seeking to disperse the crowds or from River fans targeting Boca players, as their players were targeted at La Bombonera in the Libertadores three years ago. Had River won, Boca would surely have appealed against the result and in the circumstances, it would have been hard for anybody to concentrate on the actual game.

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. The presidents of Boca and River are meeting in the Monumental to decide what how to proceed.

Boca do have options in attack with Wanchope Abila ready to lead the line accompanied by Carlos Tevez, Dario Benedetto or even Mauro Zarate.

"I want to say to our families that we are fine because have not had any contact in the changing room". They are forcing us to play the game.

Despite being taken to hospital for treatment, the player was named in the provisional starting lineup and medical services confirmed there were no medical grounds on which the match could be called off.

Following hours of uncertainty, the game was finally postponed and re-scheduled for Sunday, 8pm GMT, with the news being announced via the stadium PA system.

Carlos Tevez believes (much like everyone else outside of CONMEBOL) are in no condition to play the final tonight.

The game was taking place at River's Estadio Monumental, where most of the 70,000 fans with tickets were already in place when the violence occurred. Argentine football has been shamed, tainted nearly beyond fix, and it is hard to see any improvement possible with such criminal incompetence reigning among those entrusted with the organisation and safety of the sport.