Atlético Mineiro eliminated Boca Juniors on Tuesday in the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores. A match marked by violent incidents at the Belo Horizonte stadium, where the Argentinian players fought with members of the local security.
Flowery insults, blows in all directions, a cloud of tear gas and even pineapple jets. The Copa Libertadores match between Atlético Mineiro and Boca Juniors ended in utter chaos on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte. The Brazilians won on penalties (0-0, 3 tab to 1), but the Argentines had the feeling of being swindled. The fault was a goal denied to Marcelo Weigandt for a very limited offside, after the intervention of the VAR and nearly eight minutes of hesitation. A decision all the more badly lived as the Buenos Aires club had already been deprived of a goal by video assistance during the first leg last week at Bombonera (0-0).
At the end of this very tense reunion, the Boca players would have tried to access the locker room of the Uruguayan referee Esteban Ostojich. Miguel Angel Russo, the coach of the xeneize club, and his assistants, would also have warmed up with stewards. The tone would quickly be raised and the situation escalated. In rather mind-blowing proportions. The Argentinian and Brazilian media describe scenes of chaos in the corridors of the Mineirao stadium. Boca players and members of the technical staff fought with members of the security.
Rojo grabs a fire extinguisher, Atlético Mineiro president throws bottles
Fernando Gayoso, the goalkeeper coach, seemed particularly upset. Defender Marcos Rojo, who went through Sporting Portugal and Manchester United, grabbed a fire extinguisher in the fray. Sergio Coehlo, the president of Atlético Mineiro (who had denounced the poor reception conditions at the Boca Juniors stadium), threw water bottles at the opposing players.
Surrealist scenes which forced the police to intervene firmly. Tear gas was thrown at the entrance to the locker room of the Argentines, who did not appreciate at all. Some felt bad and had to take refuge on the lawn in order to find some air.
After calm returned, eight members of Boca Juniors, including five players, were taken to the nearest police station to be heard by the police. At the initiative of Miguel Angel Russo, the entire delegation of the Buenos Aires club also made the trip in support. No one was ultimately taken into custody. The two clubs now risk heavy penalties after these particularly spectacular incidents.