Boca fans send me death threats, says River president

River and Boca will play the second leg of their Libertadores Cup final at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Sunday after it was postponed last month following an attack by River fans on the Boca team bus.

River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio feels the team is being punished unjustly because of the actions of a few miscreants.   -  AP

River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio claims he has received death threats from hundreds of Boca Juniors fans. Such is the intensity of the rivalry between the two Argentinian clubs.

River and Boca will play the second leg of their Libertadores Cup final at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Sunday after it was postponed last month following an attack by River fans on the Boca team bus.

CONMEBOL, South America’s football federation, moved the game from Argentina to Spain amid fears of further fan violence.

Although exposed to intense scrutiny from fans of his own club, D’Onofrio said he has already received death threats from fans of Boca Juniors.

River Plate's fans clash with riot police after the second leg of the Copa Libertadores Final was postponed.   -  AP

 

“You need to have adequate security,” D’Onofrio told El Pais on Friday.

“If I go out in the street and say I don’t want to attend games at our stadium anymore, the River ultras will send death threats to me, my daughter, my wife and all my family.

READ: Boca Juniors vs River Plate, First leg report

“It’s happening to me now. I have 200 or 250 Boca fans who say they’re going to kill me.”

A traditionally highly-charged Boca v River fixture has been magnified by the fact they are meeting in the final of the Libertadores Cup, the South American equivalent of the Champions League, for the first time.

But the fact that South America’s most prestigious club prize will be decided abroad, and in Spain, has been perceived as a great opportunity missed.

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CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez has described the situation as an “embarrassment” and a “disgrace“.

“It will be remembered as a shame,” D’Onofrio said. “The tremendous shame of Argentine football.”

Fans of Boca Juniors bid farewell to their players who travel to Madrid to play River Plate in the Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores second leg final at Plaza Lezama.   -  Getty Images

 

Away fans were banned from attending the first leg at Boca’s Bombonera ground, which finished 2-2, and River would have enjoyed the same advantage at their El Monumental stadium.

But both sets of supporters have been given an equal allocation of 25,000 tickets each at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Read | River Plate appeals CONMEBOL decision

D’Onofrio says River should not have been punished for the behaviour of “40 to 50 delinquents“.

“River’s resposibility is zero,” he said. “It was the security system that failed, absolutely and totally.”

He added: “River are the victims. We are at a disadvantage because we played in Boca’s stadium and now Boca doesn’t play at River’s stadium.”