Football: Copa Libertadores final postponed

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

The second leg of the final of the Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the European Champions League, which was due to be played between arch-rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate in the Argentinian Capital, Buenos Aires, on 24 November 2018, has been postponed twice due to football hooliganism.

On 24 November 2018, some River Plate fans attacked the Boca Juniors team bus on its way to River Plate’s Monumental Stadium for the game. A number of Boca Juniors team were injured and some received hospital treatment. Carlos Tevez was reportedly treated by club doctors for dizziness and vomiting.

As a result of this violence, in which riot police intervened with tear gas to disperse the crowds, the game was postponed to the following day, but was further postponed until a decision on a new date, which is due to be taken by the football authorities on 27 November 2018.

Some commentators wonder whether the game will now take place at all in the present climate.

This affair, according to one of the country’s leading newspapers, has shown the ugliest side of football in Argentina.

And Alejandro Dominquez, the head of ‘CONMEBOL’ the Governing Body of South American Football, has commented on the situation as follows:

“In these conditions the game was distorted. One team couldn’t play, and the other doesn’t want to play against a rival that isn’t in the right conditions.”

So, football hooliganism does not only affect European football, where it is known, colloquially, as ‘the English disease’, but also, sadly, rears its ugly head in South America!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’