No-one really knows when South America’s premier club competition, the Copa Libertadores, will stage its final this year.
It was due to take place on Saturday, but after an initial two-hour delay for the kick-off, the match was postponed until Sunday.
Now it’s been postponed indefinitely.
It all came down to an attack on Boca Juniors’ team bus on the way to the stadium for the second leg of the final by some River Plate fans. The incident left several Boca players injured, including one person who caught glass splinters in their eye.
Football in South America is sometimes a violent affair, and in Argentina, no fans have been allowed to attend away matches since 2013 after violence claimed the life of a fan. Boca and River Plate are fierce Argentine rivals.
The Conmebol president Alejandro Domínguez said that the “equal” conditions Boca had demanded could not be guaranteed. He said he did not know “when or where” the game would be played, if it ever is. That inclusion of “where” suggested that serious consideration is being given to playing the game away from El Monumental. The “when” is pressing given the Club World Cup begins on 12 December and Conmebol needs a representative.
Domínguez stated: “This is not football. It’s not what any of us want. This is not the Argentina we love, we know, it’s not the majority. This is not Argentinian society, these are misfits. We have to use this time to give a good sign to the world we can do things well.”
Three Boca players had been left needing medical attention after their bus was attacked, a fusillade of missiles shattering windows and admitting tear gas, leaving a number of players feeling nauseous. How serious the injuries were remains something of a mystery. After an attempt was made to play the game at 7.30pm on Saturday, Conmebol’s medical team had insisted that none of the players were too badly affected to play. Pablo Pérez, the Boca midfielder who went to hospital with eye problems after the attack, was then included in the starting lineup before the game was postponed, but his ophthamolgist had told him today that he should not play.