Barcelona’s Camp Nou Assigned Additional Security Ahead of Sunday’s Catalan Derby

The commission of security has determined that Sunday’s match between Barcelona and Espanyol is a “high risk” event. This means the Catalan derby will be assigned members of the state police (Mossos), municipal police (Guardia Urbana) and auxillary officers – totaling 850 security personnel – in order to ensure there is no repeat of last weekend’s events in Madrid which resulted in the death of a 43-year-old Deportivo La Coruna fan.

Last Sunday’s match at the Vicente Calderon was believed to be a “low risk” event according to Spanish officials. But the fighting that took place before the contest between rival ultras groups led to the arrest of 21 individuals, with police identifying an additional 100 troublemakers.

Francisco Javier Romero Taboada passed away at Madrid’s Hospital Clinico San Carlos after being pulled out of the Manzanares river having suffered from cardiac arrest, hypothermia and head injuries. Taboaba is reported to have been a member of Raizor Blues, the ultras group which supports Deportivo La Coruna.

Barcelona will pay 50,000 euros (£40,000) towards additional policing at Sunday’s Catalan derby in the hope that there will be no repeat of last weekend’s tragic events in Madrid.

Due to the heightened risk of confrontation between rival supporters, Espanyol supporters will not be allowed to attend the match. Barcelona has given their opponent 100 tickets for the match – but they are not for fans. The allotment will be split up between the families of the players, staff and related businesses.

While Espanyol trail Barcelona by 17 points on the La Liga table, the Derbi Barceloni has great meaning in the city and last year’s editions were closely contested battles. The matchup has long been one of the more fierce rivalries in Spanish football with both clubs taking great pride in victories – no matter where their opponent stands on the league table.

Last year, Barcelona won both matches by scores of 1-0 and it is expected that this season’s version of the derby will be another cagey affair.

Programming note: Barcelona v. Espanyol will be shown LIVE on beINSPORTS and DishWorld at 11:00am EST on Sunday

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