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Friday Kickoff: Boca-River match suspended; Man United interested in Kane; and more

RamiroFunesMoriRiverPlate1-BocaJuniors (AP)


Argentine soccer hit a new low on Friday when a Copa Libertadores Superclasico match between Boca Juniors and River Plate was called off at halftime.

With the visiting River Plate players preparing to re-enter the field after the end of a halftime break, video replay shows a fan apparently breaking a hole in the fence and in the bubble the players enter the field in and spraying the players with an unknown substance, possibly pepper spray. Ramiro Funes Mori, Leonardo Ponzio, Matías Kranevitter, and Sebastián Driussi all took the worst of the spray, struggling to see and constantly trying to spray water in their eyes to wash it out. The four players were later taken to the hospital.

Other players had rashes break out on their backs as CONMEBOL officials and the referees tried to determine whether the second half would start or not. After more than an hour of deliberation, the game was called off.

“It’s shameful, lamentable,” River Plate head coach Marcelo Gallardo told TV reporters on the field during the delay, repeating this line countless times.

“We will accept the responsibility that we have but I don’t think the players are responsible,” Boca president Daniel Angelici said. “We will do all we can to help the police and we hope to find those responsible as soon as possible.”

River Plate entered the match with a 1-0 aggregate lead. It was scoreless at halftime.

Here are some more stories to kick off your morning:


Manchester United are reportedly looking to snap up one of England’s brightest young talents this summer to add to their UEFA Champions League bound squad.

According to the Times of London, Tottenham forward Harry Kane is high atop Louis Van Gaal’s list of player’s he’d like to acquire this summer. The report claims that Kane could cost upwards of £40 million ($62.9 million) in transfer fees.

Kane had a breakout season for Tottenham in 2014/2015, scoring 20 English Premier League goals, second best in the league, and another 10 goals in all competitions. He earned his first call-up to the England senior national team last March and scored on his debut, just seconds after taking the field in a 4-0 win over Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifying.


Barcelona’s attempt to win the treble could be under threat with an injury to Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan forward went down with an undisclosed left hamstring injury in training and no timetable for his return has been released. If Suarez misses the rest of the season, he’d miss out on this Sunday’s match against third-place Atletico Madrid, the Copa Del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on May 30, and the UEFA Champions League final against Juventus on June 6.

Suarez has starred for Barcelona since making his debut last August, combining with his fellow South American strikers Neymar and Lionel Messi to lead Barcelona back to prominence. Suarez has scored 16 league goals in 27 games, and another eight goals in all competitions.


Netherlands National Team head coach Guus Hiddink has called up a 30-man squad for a training camp ahead of a of Euro 2016 qualifying match against Latvia and a friendly match against the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The squad includes plenty of household names include Wesley Sneijder, Robin Van Persie, Nigel De Jong, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, and new Manchester United signing Memphis Depay, but there are also a pair of youngsters looking to win their first caps, AZ Alkmaar forward Steven Berghuis and FC Groningen midfielder Tjaronn Chery.

The Netherlands faces the USA on June 5 at the Amsterdam ArenA in a friendly match before traveling to Riga, Latvia for a Euro 2016 qualifying match on June 12.

Here’s a look at the squad:

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax Amsterdam), Tim Krul (Newcastle United), Kenneth Vermeer (Feyenoord), Jeroen Zoet (PSV Eindhoven).

Defenders: Jeffrey Bruma (PSV Eindhoven), Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle United), Bruno Martins Indi (FC Porto), Karim Rekik (PSV Eindhoven), Sven van Beek (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Paris St Germain), Joel Veltman (Ajax Amsterdam), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Jetro Willems (PSV Eindhoven)

Midfielders: Daley Blind (Manchester United), Tjaronn Chery (Groningen), Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan), Leroy Fer (Queens Park Rangers), Davy Propper (Vitesse Arnhem), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV Eindhoven).

Forwards: Steven Berghuis (AZ Alkmaar), Memphis Depay, Luuk de Jong (both PSV Eindhoven), Bas Dost (VfL Wolfsburg), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev), Luciano Narsingh (PSV Eindhoven), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow), Robin van Persie (Manchester United). (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond)


A coalition of human right’s groups called the Sports and Rights Alliance claims that Sepp Blatter and three of the four FIFA presidential candidates aren’t doing enough for human rights. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid are preparing to give new contracts to starters Koke and Antoine Griezmann to ward off interest from Chelsea. (REPORT)

Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could miss the rest of the season after injuring his hamstring in training. (REPORT)

Costa Rican forward Bryan Ruiz has extended his contract with Fulham through June 2016. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? What did you think of the violence at the River-Boca match? What do you see CONMEBOL deciding on the game? Do you see Man United snapping up Harry Kane?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. unfortunately what´s happened in argentina ia a reflexion of the the way the goverment runs that country, total chaos. I´ve got most of my family still there, and everytime I go and visit, it seems everything is out of control without any disregard to its people. The worst part I believe, is that the general population is use to it and just kind of accepts it.
    Boca will most likely pay a fine, the second half will be played without fans and in a neutral stadium. they´ll probably also be banned from having fans in the stadium for X amount of games…..and life will go on as usual.

    • That’s what I found most baffling. How business-like was all being treated. If it was somewhere else, it would have been suspended immediately. Indeed, looked as if people has been desensitized and is used to this.

      Apparently the Boca players were annoyed that River was stalling and wouldn’t continue playing just because of a little pepper spray! They even went into formation after the official suspension as some kind of taunt! Disgraceful.

    • Recently spent a couple of weeks in Argentina and Chile and I found the difference between the two pretty stark although I enjoyed both countries quite a bit. Chile really has its act together while Argentina is certainly a lot more chaotic.

  2. Harry Kane’s move somewhere seems inevitable, but if i’m his agent, i sell him for dollars; not euros. He’ll get a lot more.

    On the fan violence, the teams’ owners permit and encourage much of the rabidness (word?). They shouldn’t be surprised when some fan(s) takes it to the next level

  3. I hate MLS’s byzantine roster rules, but I recall how much I love the salary cap every time I read about one of the European giants solving a problem by snatching a terrific player away from a smaller, less swimming-in-money club.

    • While I understand the point you’re making and understand how competitive balance is good for local fan bases, our current system leaves a lot to be desired. There’s far too many 0-0 draws with very little entertainment value of skill. I’m a supporter of our league, but we’re far too vanilla with very little flavor.

      At times and as a neutral, I’d much rather have a David vs Goliath than a David vs David.

      • Used to be a fan of the parity concept, but like you, i wonder if it’s leading to some terribly boring games…with low scoring. I too am a fan of MLS but this year has been a tough sell. Maybe i’m just catching the wrong matches.

        Ps. Glad i get to see my Rowdies live this weekend as it kicks the crap out of the stink’n Strikers.

      • I see your point, but I think boring 0-0 draws have more to do with bad rosters than with parity per se. The DP rule also provides some room for the emergence of at least moderately sized Goliaths. I’m not fan of absolute parity, but it must be awful for supporters of the 12-14 BPL teams who know, with virtual certainty, at the beginning of every year that their teams have zero chance of a title.

      • but it must be awful for supporters of the 12-14 BPL teams who know, with virtual certainty, at the beginning of every year that their teams have zero chance of a title.

        Yes sir. Your point is well taken.

      • Only 10 0-0 draws so far this season, which is one a week. Not terrible. And three of those were Colorado, who are the most boring team in the world.

  4. That stadium was a madhouse. I didnt watch till the end but… apparently the Boca players clapped at the fans after the river players left. The fact that they felt they needed to do this is horrible.(Even if for personal safety)

    • I’ve been in that stadium for a match. It was a madhouse. It wasn’t a Boca vs River Superclasico. I can only imagine it would be 3x as mad against there most heated rivals, especially the GA standing room sections behind the goals.

  5. Boca should forfeit and the club tossed from the competition for the next year. It seems to me that attacks on players, especially in Latin America and Eastern Europe are getting more frequent. Either that or I’m hearing about them more.

    • I’m ok with Boca getting penalized, but I would prefer that the game be settled by the players on the field. Whether they play in front of an empty stadium, or if Boca has to pay a huge fine, there are other ways to penalize a team without compromising the integrity of the game.

      If my team lost the first leg 4-0, could I go to the away leg and pepper spray my own players as a way to advance to the next round? No, let the players decide the game and let the administrators handle fines and other penalties.

      • Disagreed. The second leg should result in a forfeit.

        Boca, as the home team has to provide sufficient security to not allow these kind of incidents to happen. Obviously, you need to be able to punish the idiots who committed the crime.

      • That a fan could breach a barrier, gan access to players, spray them with pepper spray, then simply waltz out of there says it all. Anarchy…. loons running the asylum.

        Wait… what? “We hope to FIND those responsible as soon as possible…”!?!?!?!?! Yeah. That would have been when security were spectating as they were giving players a thorough chemical scrub done in front of a full stadium and national viewing audience.

      • The reason the club/players are penalized is to dissuade fans from doing it again and to force the club into having better security/supervision for the safety of players on both side.

        Of course, the players would be wrongly penalized but the club SHOULD pay the price to deter any future shenanigans and any responsible fans shamed/banned from any future match the rest of their life.

      • Yes fine them, make them play in an empty stadium. Treat this like this it’s a very serious issue. A fan assaulted the visiting team by spraying a chemical irritant. THIS IS VERY SERIOUS!

        If the Montenegro vs Russia game in which the Russian goalie was struck by a flare thrown at him by the home fans sets a precedence, the game will be awarded to River Plate. The Montenegro vs Russia game was abandoned and subsequently awarded to Russia 3-0 due to the incident.

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