Boca Juniors appeal to CAS in bid to be awarded Copa Libertadores title outright
Boca Juniors will present an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday in a bid to be awarded the Copa Libertadores title outright without playing on Sunday.
CONMEBOL turned down the request last week. The move comes just two days before Boca are set to take on River Plate, their Buenos Aires arch-rivals, in Madrid.
"Boca will today present an appeal to the CAS," Boca press officer Rafael Veljanovich told ESPN FC on Friday.
The teams drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca's Bombonera ground on Nov. 11. Boca had wanted CONMEBOL to award them victory in the second leg after it was postponed due to crowd violence by River Plate hooligans in the vicinity of the Monumental stadium on Nov. 24 that left fans and several Boca players injured.
However, CONMEBOL turned down Boca's request and instead moved the game away from South America, choosing the Santiago Bernabeu stadium as the venue.
"We believe in CONMEBOL's rules," Angelici told Cadena Ser radio. "We will appeal to the CAS. That is a different [issue] from the responsibility that I have for my team to show up [for Sunday's game]."
Boca coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto says it is a failure for Argentinian football for the game to be played overseas.
"Today we should be talking about how Boca and River put Argentinian football at the top in South America after the two for the first time reached the Copa Libertadores final but instead we are talking about violence," he said in Friday's news conference.
"Things got out of hand. It's a loss and something we don't learn from. We would have liked to have played it in Argentina but unfortunately it wasn't possible.
"It's regrettable that this happens. It seems the same mistakes are made and what is damaged is the image of Argentina."
Schelotto said the change of venue will not affect his side come Sunday.
"We have been fighting to reach the final for a year and we will try to win it as is the dream of Boca fans and ours," he said. "As a coach, what happens on the pitch is what matters.
"Although it's not the ideal way to prepare for a final, River are in the same position as us."
About 5,000 security officers have been placed on duty in the Spanish capital for the event. But despite the increased presence, there are concerns.
Government delegate of Madrid, Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes, said on Friday the police expect 400 to 500 fans considered "especially violent" to arrive in Madrid in the next few days to follow Sunday's final.
He also said that all public transport is on maximum alert, including Madrid's Aldolfo Suarez Barajas airport.
Madrid hotels, meanwhile, will have a 90.4 percent capacity on Saturday night, according to the city's hotel business association.