Friday, April 19, 2019

We could have been killed – Boca captain Perez

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Nov 2018

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Boca Juniors captain Pablo Perez says he would have been fearing for his life if the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final had been allowed to go ahead.

The match – originally scheduled for Saturday – was pushed back to Sunday after the Boca bus was pelted with missiles as it arrived at the ground, with Perez among the players to sustain injuries in the attack.

A further postponement means the destiny of the fixture is uncertain and officials from CONMEBOL, Boca and River are all due to meet in Asuncion, Paraguay on Tuesday to discuss a new date – and potentially location.

The governing body’s medical officials had deemed Saturday’s injuries to be “superficial” and approved the match to proceed before it was ultimately suspended.

Carlos Tevez insisted at the time that Boca, who drew the first leg 2-2, were in no fit state to play and Perez says the fear, as much as the injuries, was a factor in the team’s reluctance to play.

“I cannot play on a pitch where I know I could die,” he said. “How can you play on a pitch where there is no security?

“What if we played and won? Who gets us out of there?

“The people were crazy before going in, imagine if we won on their pitch, turned them over at their home ground, what would have happened? They could have killed me.

“And I have three daughters, my lady… my eldest daughter hugged me when I got home and she was crying.”

Perez was taken to hospital for assessment along with Gonzalo Lamardo and returned to the ground sporting an eye patch.

“When I left the stadium in the ambulance, they were still throwing stones at the ambulance. It’s not a minor thing that happened,” he added.

“I’m really sad about everything, and also for the people of River. There is sadness for the people of Boca, for River and for the whole spectacle.

“My eye is irritated because glass flew from all directions.

“The episode was shameful.”

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