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CONMEBOL condemns Rio violence ahead of Libertadores final

Following ugly scenes in Rio on Thursday, CONMEBOL made a plea to fans of both teams ahead of Saturday’s showpiece final.

Fans of Argentina�s Boca Juniors enjoy Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 2, 2023, ahead of the Copa Libertadoreas final match against Fluminense next November 4. (Photo by Carlos Fabal / AFP)

South American soccer’s governing body on Thursday condemned violence after three fans were arrested over a brawl in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the Copa Libertadores final between Argentina’s Boca Juniors and Brazil’s Fluminense.

“CONMEBOL calls on the fans of @BocaJrsOficial and @FluminenseFC to share together the moments of joy and celebration that our football gives us. The values of the sport that we are most passionate about must inspire behaviors of peace and harmony. For this reason, we repudiate the acts of violence and racism that may occur within the framework of this final.”

Police said local security agents intervened after seeing Fluminense supporters charge and attack Boca fans on the Copacabana beach fan fest.

“Officers immediately surrounded the area, brought the situation under control, and two men - Argentine tourists and a third man, Brazilian - were taken to the 12th Police Station,” police said in a statement.

Locals said Argentine visitors were responsible for the violence, while Boca fans told Argentine media that Fluminense supporters arrived at the beach to carry out an organised attack before police fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

Fans of Argentina's Boca Juniors enjoy Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Fans of Argentina's Boca Juniors enjoy Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilCARLOS FABALAFP

Over 100,000 Argentine fans are expected in the Brazilian city over the weekend with the threat of violence growing after both Flamengo and Vasco ‘torcidas’ stated they would support Boca fans over the weekend with the Boca ‘barra’ (hardcore ultra style group) also promising to avenge the attacks on their supporters.