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Boca frustrated by schedule clash between Superliga season and Olympic qualifying

By Ben Spratt

Buenos Aires, January 17: Boca Juniors have failed in a bid to delay the resumption of the Superliga season, after claiming a clash with players' international commitments left them at a disadvantage.

The next full round of Superliga games is billed for January 24-26, ending a six-week mid-season break, but Argentina Under-23 players will be engaged in qualifying for the Olympic Games.

Argentina play Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela between January 18 and January 30, looking to advance to the next stage in February and close on one of two CONMEBOL places at Tokyo 2020.

Boca had just two players named in the squad last month - Nicolas Capaldo and Alexis Mac Allister - yet they led protests against the Superliga schedule.

The club released a statement on Thursday (January 16), which read: "The new leadership of the club considers that restarting the championship as planned means a sporting disadvantage for our institution, due to the players that we have contributed to the national team, and we ask for the corresponding postponement.

"If there is something that characterises Boca throughout its history, it is the commitment to the national teams in all its representations.

"And the only thing we want is to continue with that commitment [while] taking care of the interests of our club, which is the task entrusted to us by the members in the elections of December 8, 2019.

"For this reason, through a letter to the Superliga authorities signed by president Jorge Amor Ameal, Boca requests the postponement of the start of the tournament in question, as well as a meeting to discuss economic aspects."

However, the Superliga announced on its website that the 17th round of games would go ahead as planned, after "general consensus" was reached at an executive committee meeting.

Argentinian sports newspaper Ole reported the results of a poll among the 24 Superliga clubs.

It said that with 16 votes required to make the alteration, just 15 were in favour, with Boca's rivals River Plate reportedly among the nine against the motion.

Boca, who sit in second place, behind Argentinios Juniors, are due to play Independiente on January 26.

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Story first published: Friday, January 17, 2020, 2:40 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 17, 2020
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