Speaking ahead of his side’s Copa del Rey tie with Cornella tomorrow, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has condemned the events which took place prior to the match between Atletico Madrid and Deportivo de La Coruna on Sunday. The Italian conveyed his sympathy and anger at the violent acts which led to the death of a Deportivo fan near the Vicente Calderon yesterday.
Fighting between the Frente Atletico (ultras group of Atletico Madrid) and Riazor Blues (ultras group of Deportivo) took place near the stadium during the earlier hours on Sunday morning.
A 43-year-old man – who has been identified as Francisco Javier Romero Taboada – passed away at Madrid’s Hospital Clinico San Carlos after being pulled out of the Manzanares river having suffered cardiac arrest, hypothermia and head injuries.
At this point, twenty-one people have been taken into custody and 100 troublemakers have been identified by Spanish police. According to data from the National Police, those arrested are member of the Frente Atletico, the Riazor Blues, Alkor Hooligans (‘ultras’ of AD Alcorcon) and two Bukaneros (‘ultras’ of Rayo Vallecano).
“This is a sad day and everyone in the football world hopes that something like this never happens again,” Ancelotti said today. “It’s important to condemn football-related violence. Everyone has to strive to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
The manager then went on to say that Spain should follow the example of English football in order to stamp out hooliganism in the country.
“Having worked in England, I know from experience that they’ve gone to great lengths to stamp out this scourge. They used to have terrible problems with hooligans, but by all pulling together, they’ve managed to eradicate it. Spanish football needs to follow suit.”
“There is no violence at stadiums in England. There is no police presence around the grounds before matches, you don’t get abused, the fans don’t fight, there are kids at matches…I was never once abused in England, whereas a fortnight ago a fan spent the whole game hurling abuse at me. There is a cultural side to it, too – we’re Latin people. Still, and I speak now as an Italian, not a Spaniard, I believe we have a lot to improve on in terms of that culture.”
“Real Madrid are a good example of a club that has worked hard to stamp out this scourge. Barcelona have done so in the past. All clubs have to do their bit. The same proves is underway in France. Radical groups must be removed from stadiums.”
LFP president Javier Tebas had been concerned about potential problems between the rival ultras prior to yesterday’s match. It has also come to light that the State Commission was made aware of “chatter” on social media in the days leading up to the match in Madrid. But officials ended up deeming the event as “low risk”.
It is also understood that Riazor Blues were to be monitored by police as the group prepared to make their trip to Madrid. But the ultras deceived authorities by leaving from stations miles away from their normal departure point.
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