Boca Juniors being awarded 2018 Copa Libertadores 'wouldn't be strange' - CAS member
A representative of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has said that it would not be irregular if Boca Juniors were awarded the 2018 Copa Libertadores at the expense of city rivals River Plate.
Boca drew the first leg, 2-2, at their Bombonera stadium on Nov. 11 and eventually lost 3-1 to River in extra time in the return leg in Madrid on Dec. 9.
Gustavo Albano Abreu, an Argentine who, is also a member of the Superliga disciplinary tribunal, told local radio show Primer y Segundo Tiempo: "It wouldn't be strange if the Copa Libertadores is awarded to Boca. The result of the final against River can be modified. It has happened in the past when teams have fielded ineligible players that a game is awarded to the club that appealed and not to the team that won on the pitch. It can happen.
"In other sports, there are no precedents of incidents as those that occurred in the River vs. Boca because they are more civilised."
River fans threw missiles at the Boca team bus as it approached the Monumental stadium for the match on Nov. 24, injuring several players and forcing it to be called off.
CONMEBOL, South America's football confederation, moved the game to Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Spain for security reasons, a decision that was labelled an "embarrassment" in Argentina.
Boca president Daniel Angelici, whose club are celebrating their 114th anniversary, said this week that the appeal to CAS continues its course but no date has been given for the hearing.
"We are awaiting to be called up for a hearing and to explain our arguments," Angelici told reporters. "We don't know if there is a realistic chance that River will have the cup removed.
"We request that the same objective responsibility that was applied to us by CONMEBOL is issued."
In 2015, CONMEBOL disqualified Boca Juniors in the tournament's round of 16 after River Plate players were attacked with pepper spray by fans during a game at Boca's stadium. Boca are now pressing for the same sanctions for its rival.
"We want criteria equality regarding a same incident," Angelici said. "There was a precedent and we were thrown out of the [Copa Libertadores] tournament for the same thing."
River Plate president Rodolfo D'Onofrio laughed off Boca's CAS appeal earlier this year and said he didn't think there is a chance that his club would have the title removed, saying: "Can you imagine the people of Boca taking the Libertadores Cup with them? I think we would be laughing for 27,000 years!"