Woman arrested for strapping flares to child in shocking scenes before Copa Libertadores final
Police in Argentina have arrested the woman who strapped flares to her child to smuggle them into the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors at the weekend, the authorities in Buenos Aires have said.
Shocking footage emerged showing the woman, a River Plate fan, strapping the flares to the torso of her long-haired child ahead of the second leg of the final at El Monumental Stadium in the Argentine capital on Saturday.
The images prompted outrage on social media, with some people comparing the scenes to those of a suicide bombing.
The footage also led to a police search for the woman, whom prosecutors said on Monday had been identified and detained. The child, who contrary to initial reports is her son, has also been taken into custody as police investigate.
The woman could face up to eight years in prison for putting her child’s life at risk in her misguided attempt to smuggle the pyrotechnics into the stadium.
A spokesman for investigative team which helped track the woman down said: “Image treatment software and social media work was key in the identification of the suspect.
“A watch was spotted on the wrist of the woman strapping the flares round the child, as well as on another image on social media linked to the people that were investigated,” the official added, according to MailOnline.
The shocking images came amid the widespread chaos that accompanied what was billed as the biggest club game in Argentinian history.
Bitter rivals River Plate and Boca were due to meet in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final on Saturday night, having played out a tense 2-2 draw a fortnight ago at Boca’s La Bombonera stadium.
However, the bus carrying Boca players to the stadium was attacked by River Plate fans, who pelted projectiles at the vehicle, smashing its windows.
Several Boca players suffered injuries, including some on board who were affected by tear gas fired by police.
The shocking scenes led to the match being postponed until Sunday, although it was subsequently put back indefinitely as the South American football authorities investigate the carnage and allow the players time to recover.
"The President and the Council of CONMEBOL decided on the morning of this Sunday the postponement of the return party of the final of CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018 with the aim of preserving sports equality," South American football federation CONMEBOL tweeted on Sunday.
A new date for the match is expected to be announced on Tuesday of this week, following a meeting between officials from the two clubs as well as CONMEBOL.
Argentine football legend Diego Maradona put the blame squarely at the door of President Mauricio Macri, calling the scenes "deplorable."
"The president fooled a lot of people that he was going to change all this and now we are worse than before," Maradona fumed.