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25th Nov 2018

Juan Roman Riquelme insists Copa Libertadores result no longer matters

Boca Juniors legend Juan Roman Riquelme has said the result of this Copa Libertadores final no longer matters after the violence in Buenos Aires last night

Reuben Pinder

The match has become secondary

Violence in Buenos Aires tainted, and prevented, what would have been the most significant Superclásico of all time last night. River Plate were set to host arch nemeses Boca Juniors at the Monumental stadium, but an attack from their fans on the Boca bus left the away side unable to compete.

After hours of uncertainty, with Carlos Tevez and Fernando Gago complaining that CONMEBOL and FIFA were trying to force them to play, the game was suspended. It is due to take place tonight, but the match has become secondary to the tension that surrounds the match.

Juan Roman Riquelme, formerly of Boca Juniors, Villarreal and Argentina, has said that the result of the tie no longer matters.

“I’m exhausted and tired of looking at everything that happened, of seeing the people throwing rocks at a bus, I can’t believe it, and the people next to them who didn’t stop them,” Riquelme told Canal 13.

“We should be happy that we don’t have a Boca player severely injured. In Panamericana the same thing happened and there were people injured or dead. They are people.

“This game doesn’t matter anymore. What’s important is that no players are severely injured.”

More than 2,000 police officers were on duty for the game last night, but they were powerless to stop attacks on the Boca Juniors bus as it made its way to El Monumental.

Local authorities shut down the stadium last night after the violence, meaning that River Plate have had to pay a fine to ensure that the match can go ahead.

Kick-off is set to take place at 5pm local time, 8pm UK time.