River Plate’s 2018 Copa Libertadores title confirmed by CAS

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — River Plate was finally confirmed as the 2018 Copa Libertadores champion by a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Tuesday.

The court dismissed an appeal request by city rival Boca Juniors to be awarded the title because of the crowd violence which stopped the scheduled second-leg game from being played in Buenos Aires in November 2018.

Boca players were injured when River fans attacked the team bus near the Monumental Stadium.

South American soccer body CONMEBOL organized the game in Madrid two weeks later. River won 3-1 to complete a 5-3 victory on aggregate.

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Almost 14 months later, any doubt hanging over River’s continental championship was removed by the CAS ruling in Switzerland.

“The CAS panel found that while River Plate had violated the CONMEBOL disciplinary regulations it could not order the disqualification of River Plate from the 2018 Copa Libertadores since such sanction would have been excessive in the circumstances of the case,” the court said.

However, the court said Boca’s appeal was partially upheld, and that River should be punished by play two home games in the Copa Libertadores in an empty stadium. Fans were barred from the Monumental for River’s first two home group-stage games in the 2019 competition.

A second disputed continental championship made progress with CAS on Tuesday.

The court announced a March 20 hearing date for an appeal by Wydad of Morocco, challenging the 2019 African Champions League title won by Espérance of Tunisia.

Espérance was awarded the title by the Confederation of African Football after the Wydad team refused to continue playing when discovering the video review system was not working in a dispute after a goal was ruled out.

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