Players affected by tear gas in Colombia

Wednesday’s incidents were especially worrying for CONMEBOL as Copa America is due to be held in Colombia and Argentina next month.

Marcelo Gallardo (L) coach of River Plate reacts to tear gas thrown by riot police during a protest outside the stadium before a match between Junior and River Plate in Barranquilla, Colombia.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Players and staff from Colombian side Junior and Argentina's River Plate were left rubbing their eyes in discomfort after police fired tear gas at protesters outside the stadium ahead of their Copa Libertadores match in Barranquilla on Wednesday.

Demonstrations fuelled by outrage at a now-cancelled tax plan have grown in Colombia over the last two weeks.

Television pictures earlier showed the River team cutting short its warm-up on the pitch due to similar discomfort at the Romelio Martinez stadium in Barranquilla, the city which will host the Copa America final in July.

Spain to allow spectators back for final La Liga matches  

Loud bangs and sirens were heard outside the ground. The game ended 1-1.

Another Libertadores game between Atletico Nacional and Nacional of Uruguay in Pereira was delayed by an hour due to protests there.

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) moved matches from Colombia to Paraguay and Ecuador last week to ensure the protests did not affect games.

Champions League final moved to Porto - Turkish Federation sources  

However, Wednesday’s incidents were especially worrying for CONMEBOL as Copa America is due to be held in Colombia and Argentina next month.

Colombia will host 15 games including the final of the world’s oldest international tournament. The title match is due to be held in Barranquilla on July 10.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :