Thu, Dec 04, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Suspects bailed over deadly riot in the Spanish capital

AFP, MADRID

A Spanish judge on Tuesday questioned 21 suspects over a football riot in which a supporter died, while league champions Atletico Madrid expelled members of a radical group.

The accused, who face a charge of “aggravated violence,” were later released on bail.

Meanwhile, another of the clubs whose fans were linked to the brawl, RC Deportivo de La Coruna, said it was closing part of its stadium for its next two games.

One of its fans, reportedly a 43-year-old father of one, died from wounds sustained in the fight.

Sunday’s riot near Atletico’s Vicente Calderon in western Madrid saw rioters marauding with metal bars and knives, and raised tough security questions for Spanish authorities.

None of the suspects released on bail faced homicide charges and more arrests were likely to follow as the investigation continues.

The clash ahead of Atletico’s 2-0 win over Deportivo drew 200 members of hardline groups linked to the two sides plus two other Madrid clubs, Rayo Vallecano de Madrid and AD Alcorcon.

Atletico said on Tuesday that it was expelling from the club members of Frente Atletico, a hardline supporters’ group reputed to harbor far-right political extremists.

“The club has decided to cancel Frente Atletico’s status as an official fans’ group with immediate effect and to cease all relations with the group,” the club said in a statement.

Acting on information from the police and other sources, it said that eight Atletico members among the suspects detained in the brawl “have been expelled immediately and permanently excluded as members.”

It said it would ban Frente Atletico banners from being displayed in the Calderon.

Deportivo’s chairman Tino Fernandez said on Tuesday that the Maraton Inferior stand in its Riazor would be closed during a cup game yesterday and a league tie on Saturday, both against Malaga.

A minute’s silence was to be held before yesterday’s game for the fan who died, the club said.

Opposition political groups demanded explanations from the conservative government about policing ahead of the game.

“There were no indications that could have allowed us to foresee such incidents,” Spanish Junior Security Minister Francisco Martinez said on Monday.

However, the SUP police officers’ union said in a statement that officers monitoring the La Coruna fans had warned Madrid that about 50 Riazor Blues members were traveling to the match.

Riazor Blues denied in a statement on Tuesday that there had been a meet-up planned with Frente Atletico and demanded the prompt release of its detained members.

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