Boca Juniors On Strike, Want River Plate Disqualified From Copa Libertadores Final

Boca Juniors have no intention of playing the twice-postponed second leg of their Copa Libertadores final against arch-rivals River Plate, the club president Daniel Angelici said on Tuesday.

Following a meeting at the seat of South American football’s governing body Conmebol in Asuncion, where the Copa Libertadores organizers said Tuesday the aborted second leg would take place at a neutral venue next month, Angelici held a press conference in which he insisted that Boca should be awarded the trophy without playing.

“Boca will exhaust all administrative avenues and if we have to, we’ll go to CAS,” said Angelici, referring to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, sport’s top dispute settlement body. “We have no intention of playing another final.”

The first leg between the Argentine foes just over two weeks ago at Boca’s Bombonera ground finished 2-2. On Monday, Boca petitioned Conmebol’s independent disciplinary body to have River kicked out of the competition – and hence Boca awarded overall victory – over the attack on Saturday that caused the final second leg to be called off.

Boca players suffered cuts from broken glass and the effects of smoke inhalation after their team bus came under attack from projectile throwing River fans on the way to the Monumental stadium on Saturday.

Angelici said “we cannot wait for someone’s head to be broken or a life to be lost for these things to end.”

The two clubs had agreed on Saturday to postpone the match 24 hours after Boca insisted their players were “in no condition to play.” But on Sunday they complained they would still be at a “sporting disadvantage” and so the game was indefinitely suspended.

At Tuesday’s meeting, attended by Angelici and his River counterpart Rodolfo D’Onofrio, Conmebol ruled that the match would take place “on December 8 or 9 outside Argentina.” But Angelici says Boca did not head to Asuncion to discuss a future engagement.

“I don’t agree with the date. We came here to enhance our claim,” he said about the petition submitted to Conmebol’s disciplinary authority.

On Monday, D’Onofrio accused Angelici of “betrayal” after the two made “a gentleman’s agreement,” according to Conmebol president Alejandro Dominguez, to postpone the second leg to a later date.

Both the mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, and even Argentina President Mauricio Macri, a fan and former president of Boca, have accepted responsibility for the “security failure” around the match.

The security minister for the Argentine capital, Martin Ocampo even resigned. The issue needs to be resolved quickly as the Club World Cup is due to take place in Abu Dhabi from December 12, although Conmebol’s representatives won’t play until December 18.

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