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CONMEBOL rejects Boca Juniors request to be crowned Copa Libertadores champions

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The South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL, has rejected an appeal by Boca Juniors to be automatically crowned Copa Libertadores champions following the bus attack from rival River Plate fans before the second leg.

CONMEBOL announced on Thursday that it had rejected Bocas appeal against the original decision by its Disciplinary Tribunal that the decisive second leg of the fixture must be played.

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The football authoritys appeals committee “confirms the Nov. 29 decision dictated by its Disciplinary Tribunal,” read a CONMEBOL statement cited by Reuters.

The Copa Libertadores final – the biggest club game in South American football – is being contested between the bitter Buenos Aires rivals Boca and River Plate for the first time.

The first leg at Bocas La Bombonera stadium on November 11 ended 2-2, but the second leg a fortnight later was forced to be postponed when River fans attacked a bus carrying opposition players to the clubs El Monumental ground.

READ MORE: Violence erupts as Copa Libertadores final postponed due to bus ambush (VIDEO/PHOTOS)

The attack left several Boca players with injuries from shattered glass, while some were also affected by police tear gas which made its way through the broken windows.

© Reuters / Stringer

The match was initially postponed 24 hours before being moved from Argentina to Spain and Real Madrids Bernabeu stadium, where the teams will meet on Sunday.

© Reuters / Juan Medina

As of Friday morning Boca had not publicly responded to the rejection of their appeal, but club officials have previously said they would take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

River are also unhappy at the fixture in Spain as they believe they are being deprived of home advantage.

READ MORE: Copa Libertadores Final: River Plate & Boca Juniors united in rejecting Madrid tie

Boca Juniors and Argentina international Carlos Tevez has branded the situation “embarrassing,” telling the BBC: "They took away our dream of playing the final in our country."

Both teams are now in Spain preparing for Sundays game, when the hope is that football will finally take center stage.

Spanish police have promised a major security presence around the game, and a prominent Boca Juniors ultra was deported earlier this week while attempting to enter the country.

READ MORE: Boca Juniors hooligan leader kicked out of Spain ahead of Copa Libertadores final

Original Article

RT