There was absolute chaos in the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals on Tuesday night as Boca Juniors players stormed the Atletico Mineiro dressing room after the Argentinian giants were knocked out of the competition in controversial circumstances.
Atletico progressed to the semi-finals with a 3-1 victory in a penalty shootout, with neither team able to break the deadlock over the course of the two legs.
But Boca were incensed by the refereeing on display in both legs, believing they’d had two legitimate goals ruled out by VAR which ultimately cost them their place in the final four.
And with a sense of injustice burning in their hearts, the players decided to take matters into their own hands.
Tensions boiled over in the tunnel immediately after the shootout and footage showed Boca’s wounded stars attempting to storm the Atletico dressing room, where the officials were believed to be sheltering.
Boca’s reaction was so severe that police had to intervene, using tear gas against the players to try and neutralise the situation. It’s believed eight players and members of staff have been arrested for the part they played in the chaos.
Police officer Santiago Mayor spoke to TyC after the incident, stating that three players ‘are being charged with civil disturbance.’
“The match commissioner told us that there was aggression and that immediately activated our intervention,” Mayor said.
“There are currently three players that have been identified as aggressors and are being charged with civil disturbance. We are currently still viewing surveillance video to see if there are any others involved.”
Boca midfielder Diego Gonzalez insisted the referee’s performance was a trigger for his teammates’ reaction, telling Brazilian broadcasters: “Without a doubt, everyone can see that.
“We scored a good goal, and the fact is that we deserved to win the first game as well. This hurts, we feel bad. CONMEBOL need to look at the refereeing.”
Just another night in the Copa Libertadores.