Terrifying Scenes As Boca Bus Attacked, Players Injured Ahead Of Copa Final

Stones broke the bus windows and pepper spray left as many as six players vomiting.

We all love a good rivalry, but this attack on the Boca Juniors bus is going way too far.

Fans from River Plate attacked the bus of rival Boca Juniors ahead of the second leg of their Copa Libertadores final on Saturday, leaving at least six players injured. 

At the time of this article being published, the match was twice delayed but schockingly still scheduled for late Saturday, with many attributing FIFA president Gianni Infantino with trying to force Boca to play despite the poor condition of many players.

The first match of the two-legged final was a 2-2 draw at La Bombonera, Boca’s famed home. That match was delayed by a day because of torrential rains.

Following the return from the international break, the two teams were set to go at it again Saturday at El Monumental. To prevent fan violence, away supporters weren’t allowed in the stadium for either match, but that didn’t stop Boca fans from showing out in force before the match.

River Plate fans were also out on the streets before the match, but caused much more havoc.

As Boca players traveled to El Monumental, River fans pelted the team bus with stones, smashing windows. Then tear gas/pepper spray found its way into the bus.

A number of players were in bad shape after the Boca Juniors bus attack, with up to six reportedly needing to receive medical attention, including Carlos Tevez.

The Copa Libertadores final was initially delayed by an hour.

The delay meant the match ball had to remain hovering for a while, because gravity holds no sway in El Monumental.

Embed from Getty Images

Most assumed CONMEBOL was just buying time before figuring out when to reschedule the match. But reports soon surfaced that Infantino, on hand for the match, demanded the game go on to honor television commitments. 

Shortly after those reports came out, CONMEBOL said the match would be further postponed to a later time Saturday, with a CONMEBOL doctor saying the injuries were only "superficial."

Saturday’s actions from River Plate fans were absurd, unnecessary and could keep their club from winning the most prestigious competition in the Western Hemisphere. 

To be fair, most of the River Plate fans were not committing acts of violence. But even if fans weren’t pelting a bus with stones and tear gas, others were sneaking flares into the stadium by strapping them to a young girl.

And still more fans broke into fights with police trying to get into the stadium.

Of course, River Plate supporters aren’t the only ones to blame. Some might see this as payback for when River players were attacked with pepper spray by Boca fans at halftime of a Round of 16 Copa match three years ago. Boca was expelled from the tournament and River given a pass into the quarterfinals.

Plus, according to soccer author Ken Bensinger, people in Argentina are upset at more than just opposing fans. 

(It’s worth checking out his entire Twitter thread.)

But again, actions such as these are never excusable. Violence of any kind is never excusable. 

UPDATE:

The match was postponed until Sunday.

Videos you might like