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Boca Juniors thrown out of Copa Libertadores after fan attack on River Plate players

The bitter Argentine rivals clashed last Thursday but the game was suspended at half-time after pepper spray incidents.

Image: Victor R. Caivano/AP/Press Association Images

BOCA JUNIORS HAVE paid the ultimate price for their violent fans, who appeared to attack River Plate players with pepper spray during the week, dumped out of the Copa Libertadores by CONMEBOL on Saturday.

River were awarded a 3-0 win after Thursday’s last-16 second-leg tie at Boca’s La Bombonera in Buenos Aires was called off at half-time with the score deadlocked at 0-0 when visiting players were sprayed with an irritant – possibly pepper spray or tear gas – as they re-entered the pitch.

CONMEBOL also hit Boca with a $200,000 fine, ordered the disgraced Argentine giants to play four games behind closed doors, while four away matches will go ahead without visiting supporters.

River will now face Cruzeiro in the quarter-finals of South America’s premier club competition.

Boca have seven days to appeal the decision.

Hooliganism reared its ugly head on Thursday as River’s squad returned to the field following half-time, around six players emerging from the tunnel with tears streaming from their eyes.

Argentina Soccer Copa Libertadores Boca Juniors players Dani Osvaldo and Fernando Gago on the pitch last Thursday - the game was eventually abandoned after a 90-minute delay due to fan's attacking River Plate players with pepper spray. Source: Natacha Pisarenko/AP/Press Association Images

Leonardo Ponzio, Leonel Vangioni, Ramiro Funes Mori and Sebastian Driussi were among those affected with Ponzio shown repeatedly dousing his face and eyes with a water bottle.

River congregated in the middle of the pitch along with their coach Marcelo Gallardo and his staff, as a long discussion began between the referees and representatives of both teams.

The affected players from River eventually made their way to their dugout, taking off their shirts and continuing to wash their faces.

After a delay of over an hour, the match was officially suspended.

River were leading the tie 1-0 on aggregate when the match was called off, following a victory at home on May 7.

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