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25th Nov 2018

Copa Libertadores final put in doubt after authorities close River Plate stadium

After the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final was called off last night, authorities shut down River Plate's Monumental stadium

Reuben Pinder

There is a chance the game may not go ahead today

After an afternoon of chaos in Buenos Aires, the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final was called off yesterday after it became abundantly clear that the Boca Juniors team were in no fit state to compete.

An attack on their team bus en route to El Monumental left several players with injuries sustained from being hit by broken glass and others struggling to breathe due to ingesting tear gas. Carlos Tevez was one of the worst affected, while captain Pablo Perez had to go to hospital to have a shard of glass removed from his eye.

Tevez and Fernando Gago explained to Fox Sports that CONMEBOL and FIFA were trying to force them to play despite obvious mitigating circumstances, but eventually the match was called off, with rumours circulating that River Plate’s players had agreed to join their rivals in their refusal to play.

But the chaos does not stop there of course. The match was rescheduled to take place this afternoon at 5pm local time (8pm UK time), but it may not go ahead at all now after authorities shut down River’s stadium, with local police refusing to provide essential security for the match.

2,000 officers were on duty for the match that never happened last night, but they could not prevent the inevitable overspilling of emotion and the subsequent violence.

To overrule the decision to shut the stadium, River must appear before Ricardo Raúl Pedace, director of the Governmental Agency of Control of the City, and pay a fine. Otherwise, the match cannot go ahead as things stand.

It would be a great shame to see the second leg of the most historic superclásico of all time, and last ever two-legged Copa Libertadores final played behind closed doors, but it is becoming increasingly likely due to security issues.

Away fans were not allowed to attend either fixture – a wise rule going by yesterday’s scenes.