The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final that was originally postponed from Saturday to today has been postponed again as officials from the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) recognized that one of the teams, Boca Juniors, was unable to play.
The original postponement came after fans of Boca’s bitter Argentine rival, River Plate, attacked the team bus with hard projectiles and tear gas as it was on its way to the Estadio Monumental. Footage surfaced of players appearing ill and hurt as they headed to the locker room. Photos later came out of Boca captain Pablo Perez wearing a bandage over his left eye. Despite all this, Conmebol doctors still ruled that there were no medical grounds for the match to be cancelled—though the game was eventually moved.
Boca released a team statement saying that a request was made to postpone the match even further than initially planned as not every player had fully recovered from the incident.
Per the BBC:
“Club Atletico Boca Juniors made a formal presentation to Conmebol on Sunday to request that the final of the Copa Libertadores be played in conditions of equality,” said a club statement.
“After the acts of violence suffered in the vicinity of the stadium, having noted the magnitude and seriousness of them and the consequences they have generated in the establishment, Boca considers that these conditions are not met and requests the suspension of the match.”
Conmebol president Alejandro Domínguez spoke to reporters after the second postponement was made and seemed to be just as infuriated with the situation as many appeared to be. He called the situation a “disgrace” and said, “This is not the Argentina we love, we know, it’s not the majority.”
Ultimately, however, the words are just that. The actions of Conmebol resulted in a horrendous clusterfuck of a response that showed the true intentions of the organization’s officials: putting money and the execution of this final ahead of the health and safety of players. To make matters worse, Conmebol has to send a representative for the Club World Cup in UAE, meaning they’re in a time crunch to resolve all of this. As long as this cloud hangs over the moment, it’s hard to imagine going into the game with the same level of general enthusiasm—especially as a player.