Lest you think inane soccer violence is isolated to places like Argentina, Eastern Europe, or your local high school, Atlético and Deportivo ultras proved Spain’s fans can just just as deadly as any other country’s idiots.
Unfortunately, that’s no exaggeration. One person is dead after a pre-match brawl between Atleti and Depor fans outside the Vicente Calderon before today’s La Liga match in Madrid. According to AS, the brawl lasted around an hour and included “sharp objects.”
The deceased, a 43-year-old male, reportedly suffered a heart attack, was thrown into the Manzanares river, and was also treated for serious head injuries and hypothermia after being pulled from the water. He was pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m. Madrid-time.
“Club Atletico de Madrid strongly condemns the incidents that occurred in the area of Madrid Rio in the hours prior to the match that our team will play against Deportivo de La Coruña.
“The values promoted by sport must prevail over any rivalry and we must fight together against the scourge of violence.”
According to the Associated Press, 11 others were injured in the brawl, including a police officer, who suffered a broken hand. The deceased was also identified as a Deportivo supporter.
From the Liga de Futbol Profesional, via ESPNFC:
“The LFP expresses its condemnation at the incidents that took place on Sunday morning on the outskirts of the Vicente Calderon …
“The LFP has been steadfast in its intention to suspend the match and it has not been possible. The association is working with Fans United, the national police and all clubs and societies to end violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in professional football.”