River Plate hooligans described as the “mafia of Argentine soccer” were behind the attack on Boca Juniors’ bus before the Copa Libertadores final second leg, says the mayor of Buenos Aires.
The attack on several Boca players on Saturday’s game resulted in the games being delayed for 24 hours, it was then rescheduled, match day is set to be discussed on Tuesday.
Many Boca players were injured during the assault, as the windows on the bus were broken on the way to River’s Estadio Monumental.
Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta said it was a revenge attack. He said the attack was a retaliation after the police raided house of leader Barra Brava, a powerful and violent wing of River’s hardcore fans.
The police confiscated 10 millions pesos (£207,285) and 300 tickets for the final.
“The problem is the Barra Brava – a mafia who have been embedded in football for more than 50 years,” he added.
“They are responsible for these incidents. This is directly related to the episode the day before. So 300 people were not allowed in and they were the principle protagonists of everything that happened.”
“The hooligans in Argentina, it’s not just passion, it’s a business. Tickets were exchanging hands at extraordinary prices,” he told BBC Radio 4.
“So one interpretation of the violence here from the River Plate supporters is that this was a revenge attack from an organised group of thugs, against the police for not allowing them to profit from this match.”
Photo credit- The National