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Football news - River Plate v Boca Juniors off after call for suspension of Copa Libertadores final

River Plate v Boca Juniors off after call for suspension of Copa final
By Eurosport

26/11/2018 at 02:36Updated 26/11/2018 at 04:23

The Copa Libertadores final second leg between River Plate and Boca Juniors was called off after the Boca Juniors team bus was attacked on its way to the game, and is now to be rescheduled after a further postponement.

The Copa Libertadores final between River and Boca was called off for a second consecutive day because conditions were not equal between the sides, according to CONMEBOL.

Boca Juniors had called for the rescheduled Copa Libertadores final against River Plate to be suspended.

There is no indication of when the match will be replayed.

The match was postponed on Saturday after River fans attacked the Boca bus - and Boca have made a formal complaint to the South American federation CONMEBOL, claiming they are unable to play the game under "conditions of equality".

The game was set to kick off at 5pm local time, 20:00 UK time, on Sunday.

Shortly after Boca sent out a press release, River tweeted out instructions to fans attending the game.

It is the latest twist in a chaotic saga that began when River fans threw projectiles at the Boca coach on Saturday, causing injuries to players, who were also affected by police pepper spray.

After several delays to the kick-off, and a seemingly concerted effort from FIFA and CONMEBOL to make the game go ahead as scheduled, it was eventually pushed back to Sunday night.

Authorities closed the Monumental stadium, and it is believed River have paid a fine to ensure fans can attend the rescheduled game.

About an hour before kick-off on Saturday, and with the Monumental stadium filled to capacity, Boca officials told reporters some of their players were not fit to play in the decisive second leg. After pushing the kick-off back several times, Conmebol eventually decided to call off the game until Sunday.

Fans reacted angrily after initially being told the game would go ahead on Saturday, though later than planned.

Following the announcement, there were skirmishes outside the ground as tempers frayed once again.

"They were throwing pepper gas, stones, everything," Clarin website quoted Juan Carlos Crespi, a member of the Boca delegation, as saying.

Boca officials told reporters some of their players were not fit to play in the match.

"The players are all hurt, you can't play this way," Christian Gribaudo, Boca's secretary general said in quotes reported by the Clarin website. Caros Tevez was pictured in some distress in the stadium.

Carlos Tevez, Boca Juniors – River Plate

Carlos Tevez, Boca Juniors – River PlateTwitter

Clarin said six players had vomited in the dressing-room after gas drifted into bus windows smashed by River fans outside the stadium.

Gas appeared to be fired as the bus came under attack, and raced towards the statium to relative safety.

Boca and River drew the first leg 2-2 on Nov. 11.

The incident occurred three years after a Copa Libertadores last-16 tie between the same teams was abandoned at halftime after Boca fans attacked the River players with pepper spray in the tunnel.

River were given a bye into the quarter-finals and Boca were kicked out the competition.

Pablo Perez appeared to need hospital treatment after sustaining an arm injury, And Perez then posted evidence of an injury to his eye. Carlos Tevez beleived that his teammates were in no condition to play.

Nevertheless, Conmebol's doctor claimed only superficial injuries were suffered.

And another video showed the ambush by fans.

However, official word came that the game would nevertheless be played on Saturday evening - putting kick off back to 7.30pm local time, until the game was finally postponed until Sunday.

The head of Conmebol's medical team was reported to be assessing if the match could go ahead after the controversy.

There were suggestions that there was pressure on Conmebol to keep the match on schedule to meet television obligations.

And President Macri of Argentina was also in favour of the match going ahead.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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