3 Boca players injured in attack on team bus ahead of Copa Libertadores final
Pablo Perez, the captain of Argentine soccer club Boca Juniors, has been taken to a local hospital following an attack here Saturday on the team’s bus as it was arriving at River Plate’s El Monumental Stadium for the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final.
Buenos Aires side Boca Juniors and its crosstown arch-rival played to a 2-2 draw in the Nov. 11 first leg at La Bombonera Stadium, located in another district of the capital.
Two of Perez’s teammates, Carlos Tevez and Agustin Almendra, also reportedly are not in condition to play the final due to injuries suffered in the attack.
Almendra has several cuts on his body and Tevez vomited repeatedly in the locker room as a result of the pepper gas authorities used to disperse the rowdy fans, according to sources close to Boca.
River Plate supporters threw rocks and other objects, apparently bottles, and shattered some of the vehicles’ windows in the attack on the opposing club’s bus.
Because of the violent fan behavior, the match’s initially scheduled start time of 5 pm local time was postponed by one hour.
“Due the incident with Club Boca Juniors’ bus, the game has been postponed until 18.00,” South America’s Conmebol soccer federation said on Twitter.
Conmebol officials held a meeting at El Monumental Stadium with Boca and River executives following the violent incident and after receiving Boca Juniors President Daniel Angelici’s request that the match be suspended due to a lack of safety conditions.
The potential for violence was such a pressing concern that away fans were barred from both legs of the final of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier club soccer tournament.