BUENOA AIRES – Argentinian league giants Boca Juniors said they will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a bid to secure victory over bitter local rivals River Plate ahead of Sunday's Copa Libertadores final in Madrid.
River and Boca will play the second leg of the final at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium after it was postponed last month following an attack by River fans on the Boca team bus.
CONMEBOL, South America's football federation, moved the game from Argentina to Spain amid fears of further fan violence.
The move has been labelled a national embarrassment for Argentina, especially as the Copa Libertadores – South America's equivalent of Europe's Champions League – was named after those who secured independence from countries like Spain in the early nineteenth century.
Boca vice-president Royco Ferrari said the club will appeal to sport's top arbitration body in a bid to earn victory before a ball is kicked in anger.
"Boca will appeal to the CAS," Ferrari told Fox Sports in Madrid.
"This is what the club's legal team are looking into. That's what we said we'd do if the decision (from CONMEBOL's Court of Appeal) did not go in our favour."
Argentinian daily Ole said Boca, whose rivalry with River Plate is among the fiercest in world football, had already lodged an appeal with CAS although the Lausanne-based body has not confirmed the report.
The first leg finished 2-2 at Boca's Bombonera ground, where away fans were banned from attending. River would have enjoyed the same home advantage at their stadium, El Monumental, for the second leg on November 24 before CONMEBOL's decision to move the game out of the country.
Sunday's second leg is scheduled for 2030 local time (1930 GMT).AFP