'He's worst in Argentina's history': Boca legend Maradona blames president for final violence
Argentine football icon Diego Maradona has blamed president Mauricio Macri for the fan violence that postponed the Copa Libertadores final between his former team Boca Juniors and River Plate, accusing him of "fooling people".
The decisive 2nd leg of the match was originally scheduled for Saturday at River's El Monumental in Buenos Aires but had to be postponed by 24 hours after River fans ambushed the Boca team bus with missiles as it made its way to the ground.
Boca players were injured by smashed glass and suffered from the effects of tear gas fired by police to disperse the crowds. The game was rearranged for Sunday but was eventually abandoned altogether upon request from Boca to South American football federation CONMEBOL.
Maradona, a Boca legend who spent three years of his legendary career with the club and who captained his nation to World Cup glory in 1986, hit out at the country's president for the violence, claiming his politics were at fault for the ugly scenes.
"(What happened) in my country is deplorable. The president fooled a lot of people that he was going to change all this and now we are worse than before," Maradona said in a press conference on Saturday.
"What Macri is doing is the worst in Argentina's history. It is a horror to go out on the field, there are robberies everywhere, but this is the change people voted for.
"It was on my mind throughout the day. I hate violence, and what does it matter to Macri? He has been the son of millionaires all his life. What does it matter to him if a five-year-old child in Lomas de Zamora eats or not?"
Further violence erupted upon the announcement that the match would be postponed on Saturday. Twenty nine arrests were made and riot police fired rubber bullets into crowds as the 70,000 supporters left the stadium.
CONMEBOL announced that a meeting will take place on Tuesday in the Paraguayan capital Asuncion in the presence of both teams' president to decide the new date of the final.
Maradona, current manager of Mexican second tier outfit Dorados de Sinaloa, on Sunday posted a tribute to Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Instagram, with the caption: "It's been 2 years since you left, but your revolution is still alive throughout Latin America.
"And although you miss your voice and your advice, you will always be present in me. Until always dear Commander."