- Associated Press - Sunday, May 17, 2015

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Boca Juniors says it will appeal its ouster from the Copa Libertadores competition as punishment for fans spraying a caustic substance on a rival team in a tournament game.

Club president Daniel Angelici said Boca officials “understand a disciplinary sanction fits for the club, but not a sporting” punishment, according to Sunday’s edition of the newspaper Ole.

“Games are won on the pitch. Otherwise we are hostages of the violent ones,” he was quoted as saying.

The governing body of the South American football federation Conmebol ruled Saturday that Boca will have to play its next four home international matches without fans in the stands. The team also will not be able to sell its fans tickets for its next four away games and it was fined $200,000.

There had been speculation earlier that the body would also suspend Boca from international competition for a year and bar games at its La Bombonera stadium.

The governing body’s ruling meant that River Plate, whose players were attacked at La Bombonera, will advance to the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores.

The second-leg match in the round of 16 on Thursday was stopped when River Plate players were sprayed with a caustic substance as they took the field for the second half. Many rubbed their eyes or doused them with water to clear their vision.

River had won the first leg 1-0 last week, and Thursday’s match was 0-0 when it was suspended in front of about 50,000 fans before the second half could begin.

The match turned to chaos when River players came out of a temporary tunnel rubbing their eyes and pulling their shirts over their faces. Police and officials waited on the field for more than an hour before suspending the game.

Thursday’s match was the third between the teams in 12 days, with each having won once.


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