Brazilian police charged six Boca Juniors players and officials on Wednesday, a day after they were involved in clashes with rivals and police following their Copa Libertadores elimination by Atletico Mineiro.
Two were charged with damaging property and released after paying 3,000 reais ($574) bail each, the Minas Gerais state police said in a statement.
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Four others from the Argentine club were charged with causing bodily harm and abusing authorities. They were released after “formally agreeing to appear before a judge” at a future date, the statement added.
None of the six Boca players were identified, with the club releasing the following statement on Wednesday: “Boca Juniors suffered during the Copa Libertadores series against Atletico Mineiro two inexplicable wrong decisions overturning legal goals which have destroyed the spirit of the most prestigious tournament in the continent.
“Our fans, players and coaching staff have been harmed by a malicious and intentional way of utilizing the VAR technology. What happened marks an unprecedented event. It’s the first time where a team that won the two games in the series is eliminated from the competition.
“We can’t overlook the attitude of the Club Atletico Mineiro president who encouraged and incited the violence with threatening messages for several days until reaching the point of the regrettable events in which our players, coaching staff and executive management were physically harmed and detained for more than 12 hours in unfortunate conditions in order to not break the sanitary bubble.”
Boca returned to Argentina on Wednesday after spending more than 10 hours at a Belo Horizonte police station. The Argentine authorities said that all members of the squad will have to comply with seven-day isolation, due to the direct contacts that broke the coronavirus bubble and health protocols during their stay in Brazil.
Boca, one of the biggest clubs in Argentina, were knocked out of the Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, on Tuesday evening at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte.
The match ended 0-0 and the home side won 3-1 on penalties.
However, Boca had a goal disallowed in the second half after a long consultation with the video assistant referee (VAR).
The Argentine side also had a goal disallowed by VAR in the goalless first leg.
Angry Boca players and officials clashed with their rivals at the side of the pitch as the referee viewed the VAR monitor, and there was more trouble in the tunnel and dressing rooms after the final whistle.
Brazilian police used pepper spray against Boca players and officials at the door of their dressing room after the match, with videos showing the players choking as they shouted abuse at the law enforcement officers.