Copa Libertadores Final Moved to Sunday After Boca Juniors Bus AttackNovember 24, 2018
CONMEBOL moved the second leg of the 2018 Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate to Sunday after River Plate supporters attacked the Boca Juniors team bus prior to Saturday's scheduled fixture.
According to Argentine soccer writer Daniel Edwards, the final will be Sunday at 5 p.m. local time.
The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson reported that River Plate supporters "pelted the bus with missiles" and that video footage showed five windows from the bus had been shattered. According to Wilson, Boca midfielder Pablo Perez suffered an eye injury resulting from the attack.
Citing reporting from Argentine outlet Clarin, Reuters' Andrew Downie wrote Boca players were also dealing from the effects of tear gas police used outside of El Monumental in an attempt to break up the crowd of fans. The tear gas wafted into the Boca Juniors bus, with six players vomiting in the team's dressing room.
Wilson described a scene in similar terms: "Many were still coughing and retching, eyes watering, as they walked from the bus into the dressing room."
CONMEBOL first delayed the match for an hour. The New York Times' Andrew Das noted why rescheduling proved tricky.
The Independent's Miguel Delaney shared a letter from CONMEBOL doctors who argued there wasn't a valid medical reason to delay the fixture.
According to journalist Mootaz Chehade, FIFA president Gianni Infantino was in attendance for the Copa Libertadores final and informed Boca president Daniel Angelici the club risked disqualification from the competition if the players refused to play.
However, CONMEBOL ultimately decided to move the final, which many argued was the only proper response to the situation.
The first leg between Boca and River Plate ended in a 2-2 draw at La Bombonera. Carlos Izquierdoz's own goal in the 61st minute made things all square and prevented Boca from carrying a 2-1 lead into the final match.