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River Plate fans attack Boca Juniors bus, 2nd leg delayed (video)

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A number of Boca Juniors players have been reportedly exposed to tear gas after River Plate fans attacked the team bus as it arrived for the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between the legendary rivals.

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The match was scheduled to kickoff at 3 p.m. ET, with Boca and River square at 2 after one leg, but now it has been delayed several hours (though there’s precedence to suggest that River may have to forfeit).

From The Independent:

South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) officials are currently meeting to discuss whether or not the final should go ahead, after reports that a number of Boca players – including Carlos Tevez – were taken unwell in the club’s dressing room following the attack.

CONMEBOL announced the final would be delayed three hours, though some reports say multiple Boca players have been transported to hospital.

If the match is not suspended, it would be stunning, but CONMEBOL is apparently insisting that the match must be staged on Saturday.

Footage before the match showed an adult strapping flares under the shirt of a child.

Three hurt in clash between radical fans before Barca vs Rayo

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MADRID (AP) Emergency services say three people were hurt when radical fan groups supporting Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano clashed before a Spanish league match on Saturday.

[ RECAP: Barca comes back to win ]

Emergency services for Madrid say the three were taken from near Vallecas Stadium to a hospital to receive treatment for cuts and bruises.

Barcelona says in a statement it “laments and condemns” the fighting, which was near Rayo’s stadium according to Spanish media reports.

Barcelona says it “reaffirms its commitment to fight against any form of violence in the world of sport and once again puts itself at the disposition of the police and security forces to eliminate these groups.”

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Hertha bans flags, banners after fan violence with police

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BERLIN (AP) Hertha Berlin announced on a ban on flags and banners for home games following fan trouble at its previous Bundesliga game in Dortmund.

The club says the measure “applies to both home and away fans” carrying banners into Berlin’s Olympiastadion and “this ban applies immediately and until further notice.”

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Hertha says there will be increased security measures to ensure the ban is enforced and it asks supporters attending the game against Leipzig on Saturday to arrive early.

The move comes after a number of Hertha fans fought police at the beginning of their team’s 2-2 draw against Borussia Dortmund on Oct. 27.

Media reports suggested around 100 fans were involved. The violence broke out after police tried to remove a huge banner commemorating 15 years of a group of Hertha ultras. Masked fans set off flares behind the banner.

Police said 45 people were injured – 35 of them from the use of pepper spray and 10 from violence. Some people were taken to a hospital for treatment and “all injured police officers remained fit for duty.”

The German soccer federation said Monday it was launching a probe into the disturbances.

Hertha general manager Michael Preetz criticized the Dortmund police for their “excessive” intervention.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Portugal: Fans interrupt Sporting practice, assault players

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese media are reporting that a group of fans forced their way into Sporting Lisbon’s training center on Tuesday and assaulted its players and staff.

Sporting has issued a statement condemning what it calls “acts of vandalism and the attacks on (our) athletes, coaches and professional staff.”

[ MORE: Arteta “clear favorite” for Arsenal job ]

Public television RTP says that around 50 intruders, who had covered their faces to not be identified, interrupted practice and assaulted a number players and staff. They also trashed a changing room.

Sporting missed out on a Champions League berth for next season after a loss in the last round of the Portuguese league cost it a second-place finish last weekend.

It is preparing to play the Portuguese Cup final against Aves on Sunday.

Liverpool fans warned, as Roma pledges support

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There was a terrible incident in Liverpool on Tuesday when a Reds supporter was set upon by Roma fans and left in critical condition.

Sean Cox, 53, was attacked outside a pub before Liverpool’s 5-2 UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg win over AS Roma.

[ MORE: LFC 5-2 Roma | Klopp reacts ]

Liverpool has released its plans to keep supporters safe should they be among the 5,000 with tickets in Rome on Wednesday (via LiverpoolFC.com), pledging the “most comprehensive safety and security advice.”

The club has taken the exceptional measure of requesting an extraordinary meeting in the Italian capital, which will take place on Friday April 27. … At the behest of Liverpool, club officials will join AS Roma, UEFA and the relevant Italian police and security services to discuss specific ongoing concerns.

Merseyside Police chief superintendent Dave Charnock backed up Roma’s police demand that Liverpool fans without tickets skip the trip to Italy. According to the BBC, Liverpool was asked to put fans names on their tickets to the game.

“While we understand and appreciate that many Liverpool fans will want to travel to Rome, I would encourage fans who do not have tickets to not travel,” he said.

AS Roma, for its part, posted a photo of Cox with the statement, “His recovery and the safety of all fans attending football matches, is the only thing that matters now.”