Copa Libertadores final: Latest Boca Juniors vs. River Plate news ahead of second leg in Madrid
As of right now, all signs point toward the second leg being played Sunday in Madrid
The Copa Libertadores final was set to be completed in November, but here we are in December with a South American champion still left to be crowned and a second leg up in the air. After a 2-2 draw at Boca's La Bombonera, the second leg at Estadio Monumental was originally scheduled on Nov. 24, but was. River Plate supporters attacked the Boca Juniors team bus with rocks and bottles, cracking some of the windows. Players had a difficult time breathing because of the pepper spray and tear gas used by the police to combat the violence. The second leg was moved out of Argentina and scheduled for Sunday in Madrid, Spain, but there is still some uncertainty as whether or not the game will get played.
Here's everything you need to know about the drama that surrounds the Copa Libertadores final.
The second leg will be played, per CONMEBOL
The governing body for South American soccer announced on Nov. 29 that the game. River Plate was handed down a fine, along with two-match stadium ban for CONMEBOL competitions. The confederation is expecting the game to be played and is preparing as if the game will take place this weekend.
Boca Juniors is pushing for River's disqualification
The club is pursuing every legal action it can to get the game postponed, but it will have to play if it doesn't get the ruling it wants. Tato Aguilera of TyC Sports reported on Monday that Boca, with new lawyers, filed an appeal to CONMEBOL's decision not to disqualify River and award the title to Boca as a result of the attack. Boca is pushing for the similar sanctions it received back 2015 when Boca fans pepper sprayed River players in the Libertadores. Boca forced to forfeit that match and was eliminated from the tournament. It remains to be seen if the appeal will be heard before Sunday's match.
River Plate refuses venue change to Madrid
The club issued the following statement to CONMEBOL, laying out reasons for not accepting the change of venue, and announcing that it will take the corresponding legal measures to reverse the ruling:
River Plate announces that it will take legal action and the pertinent appeals in relation to what was resolved on the date of the match by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and its Disciplinary Court, in relation to the change of venues arranged for the final match of the Copa Libertadores 2018, the economic sanction and the prohibition of competing with public two official matches organized by CONMEBOL.
So what's next?
Well, there is no denying this is still a mess. Boca will likely take this case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if it doesn't get its way with CONMEBOL via the appeal, but at the moment, all signs point to the game being played. The clubs are selling their tickets and are expected to travel to Spain on Wednesday.
The match can be viewed on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on Fox Deportes via fuboTV (Try for free).
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