Sunday, September 15, 2019

River and Boca presidents agree with Copa Libertadores final postponement after bus attack

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Nov 2018

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The presidents of Boca Juniors and River Plate agree with the decision to postpone the Copa Libertadores final between the bitter rivals until Sunday.

Boca and River played out a 2-2 draw in the first leg but ugly scenes marred the preparations for Saturday’s return match at River’s El Monumental stadium.

As the visitors’ bus made its way towards River Plate’s stadium it was showered with projectiles, with some smashing windows of the vehicle.

Pablo Perez was among the Boca players injured in the incident, which initially led to a delayed kick-off and later the announcement of a postponement.

CONMEBOL wanted the game to go ahead, describing the injuries as “superficial” in a statement that said “there’s no cause for the suspension of the match”, an assessment angrily rejected by Boca star Carlos Tevez.

The match is now due to kick off at 1700 local time (2000 GMT) on Sunday, a full 24 hours after the final was initially set to get under way, with River fans permitted to attend.

The first leg was also postponed, due to bad weather in Buenos Aires, with River and Boca’s presidents in agreement over the decision to play the second leg on Sunday.

“It was supposed to be a party, a sad day for me,” Daniel Angelici, Boca president, told Fox.

“Some River outcasts attacked our bus. We were in no condition to play this final.

“I want to thank CONMEBOL and River. We said that we did not want to play with injured players.

“I think the decision is correct. We need to be ashamed of this as a society. The world was waiting for this match.

“I think the final has to be played under equal terms. 

“We saw that some players were without air in the bus, had to help them quickly. I need to acknowledge the River authorities for their concern.

“CONMEBOL resolved that the match was going to be played, but I saw we had two players in hospital.

“Five or six outcasts ruined the party for 60,000 present inside the stadium.”

And River president Rodolfo D’Onofrio backed up Angelici while insisting his club’s fans should be allowed to attend Sunday’s match.

“It’s a shame that we had to go through this,” D’Onofrio said to Fox. “River said that we cannot play against a team that is going through an understandable psychological situation. We agreed with Daniel.

“I know nothing on security. We hired a security service, there was some sort of problem. You have guys that get the tickets, I don’t know from where, and we have to spend money to be sure that everything is OK.

“I feel bad, frustrated, tired. I apologise to the fans. My daughter lives in Italy, I have two granddaughters, they arrived today and fly back tomorrow. I have this situation at home, imagine all the ones that came from all over the country.

“I said to CONMEBOL from the start that we could not play today. I’m not going to give up. I don’t want to win this way. There are no reasons for the River stadium to be closed tomorrow. I can assure you that River is not responsible.”

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