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Infantino deplores ‘idiots’ who ruined Copa Libertadores party

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Gianni Infantino wants the people to blame for the violence that prevented the Libertadores Cup final second leg being played to be kicked out of football © AFP / ALEJANDRO PAGNI

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Dec 1 – FIFA President Gianni Infantino lamented that “idiots ruined the party” for everyone after the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final was moved to Madrid following fan violence.

The match between Buenos Aires arch-rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate was originally scheduled for November 24 at River’s Monumental stadium but was postponed after Boca players were injured when their team bus was attacked by home fans throwing projectiles.

“I was here last Saturday,” Infantino said at a press conference at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. “It was a sad moment for everyone. It is a football match. It is not a war, not even a battle.”

“We have to work to find out who are the people to blame. You have to identify them and get them out (of football),” said Infantino.

“I hope this does not happen any longer,” he said. “This story must mark the end of one chapter and the start of a new one.”

South American football’s governing body Conmebol on Thursday confirmed that the match would be played on December 9 at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

“All the leaders of G20 are interested in football and they see the potential of football,” Infantino said. “Football is the only truly global sport.”

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