After grabbing a fire extinguisher off a wall, Marcos Rojo was punished as players clashed following Boca Juniors’ Copa Libertadores exit to Atletico Mineiro.
Former Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo has been handed an enormous ban and a fine for his part in a tunnel brawl after Boca Juniors’ controversial Copa Libertadores exit.
Rojo could be seen grabbing a fire extinguisher off a wall as Boca players attempted to storm the Atletico Mineiro dressing room following a game back in July.
The last-16 tie at the Mineirao stadium ended goalless before Atletico went through 3-1 on penalties.
However, Boca believed they had a legitimate goal ruled out for the second time in the tie, having also had a goal disallowed for offside after a lengthy VAR check in the goalless first-leg.
Police appeared to spray furious Boca players at the door of their dressing room after the match.
It is believed that the match officials had taken shelter in the home dressing room after tensions rose inside the Estadio Mineirao.
As a result of the violence in the tunnel, Brazilian police originally wanted to charge three Boca players with a civil disturbance while a 17-year-old was injured.
A police force member, Santiago Mayor, told local media: “We have information that the match delegate said there was aggression, and at least three Boca players were identified as the aggressors.
“There are videos that show that there was contempt.”
Boca legend Juan Roman Riquelme, the club’s vice-president, came to the defense of his side after the ugly clashes, saying: “When they were in the dressing room, you see a person in a suit who pushed the boys and insulted them. The policemen threw gas in the players’ faces.
“They gas, what do you do? Do you defend yourself, or do you let them hit you? You see the president throwing bottles, the police… they don’t say anything to them. That’s the truth.”
Now, after a lengthy investigation, CONMEBOL has decided on a punishment for every individual involved, with former United defender Rojo banned for five games and fined around £18,300.
A statement from South American football’s governing body said: “SUSPEND the Player MARCOS ROJO for 5 (five) matches.
“This sanction is must comply with the provisions of Articles 73 and following of the Disciplinary Code of CONMEBOL. “Likewise, the Player MARCOS ROJO has imposed a fine of USD 25,000 (TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND US DOLLARS).
“The amount of this fine will be automatically debited from the amount to be received by CLUB ATLÉTICO BOCA JUNIORS, in respect of Television or Sponsorship rights.”
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In February, Rojo returned to his native Argentina to join Boca Juniors on a free transfer, ending his six-and-a-half-year spell at United.
He made 122 appearances after being signed from Sporting Lisbon under Louis van Gaal’s watch in 2014 but ultimately couldn’t establish himself in the Red Devils’ first team.
In April, the 31-year-old was sent off for two yellow cards in as many minutes inside the opening quarter of an hour of the Superclasico clash between Boca Juniors and River Plate.
After just 15 minutes, he clattered into opposing striker Braian Romero. Less than a minute later, the defender bundled into Agustin Palavecino as the River’s chief creator received the ball from a throw-in.