Tensions Rise as Boca Juniors Fans Invade Rio for Copa Libertadores Final
The city of Rio de Janeiro is bracing itself for the highly anticipated Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and Fluminense, set to take place at Maracanã Stadium on Saturday at 9:00 p.m. local time. The streets of Rio are now awash with blue and red, the colors of Boca Juniors, as thousands of Argentine fans descend upon the Brazilian city in search of their team’s seventh title.
Security Concerns Mount as Clashes Erupt
However, the influx of Boca Juniors supporters has already led to clashes between rival fans. Brazilian aggressors targeted Boca fans in a series of attacks, raising concerns about the potential for serious incidents. The Argentine Consulate has acknowledged the presence of over 100,000 Bostero fans in Rio, further exacerbating the security situation.
A Massive Invasion by Land, Air, and Sea
The sheer scale of the invasion is staggering. A caravan of 105 buses embarked on a grueling 2,670-kilometer journey from Buenos Aires to Rio, while an estimated 20 planes per day have been shuttling fans between the two cities. Additionally, approximately 1,000 private cars are expected to arrive in Rio. The city’s infrastructure is being put to the test as it accommodates this unprecedented influx of visitors.
A Ticket Dilemma for Boca Juniors Fans
With a capacity of around 78,000 spectators, Maracanã Stadium simply cannot accommodate all the Boca Juniors fans. Only 20,000 general admission tickets and 3,000 VIP tickets have been allocated to them. This has left many Xeneizes desperately searching for a way to secure a ticket, with some even resorting to unconventional methods.
A Secret Trick and Unlikely Allies
Surprisingly, Boca Juniors fans have found an unexpected ally in their bitter rival’s supporters. It is estimated that around 10,000 Flamengo fans, bitter rivals of Fluminense, have managed to secure tickets in the neutral zone of the stadium. Some of these Flamengo fans may even choose to support Boca Juniors, provided they don’t sell their tickets to the highest bidder.
Security Measures and Contingency Plans
Given the potential for unrest, security has become a paramount concern for Rio de Janeiro. The Copacabana Fan Fest, a popular gathering spot for visiting fans, will be closed on Friday night. Authorities are currently deliberating on where to accommodate Boca Juniors fans who are unable to secure tickets for the match. The iconic Sambadrome, known for hosting the world-famous carnival, is the most likely option. Giant screens will be set up to keep the fans together, while Fluminense supporters will gather at Cinelandia, a popular square in the city. The final decision, however, remains pending as the city remains on high alert.
Rio de Janeiro is now fully immersed in the Xeneize invasion, eagerly awaiting the climax of South American football’s biggest celebration.