Atletico Madrid expelled seven club members and a radical group identified by Spanish police as having participated in a brutal fight with rival Deportivo La Coruna fans that left one man dead.
“Among those identified are 15 people who say they are Atletico Madrid supporters, of which seven were club members … those members have been expelled immediately,” Atletico said in a statement on their club website.
Atletico also said they were banning “Atletico Front,” one of the radical groups identified by police as participating in Sunday’s street brawl, from their Vicente Calderon Stadium.
The 21 men arrested for the violent clash were arraigned before a judge on Tuesday and later released with charges of participating in a mass brawl.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone condemned the fight that occurred near Atletico’s stadium hours before Atletico hosted Deportivo in the capital.
“Again I repeat, from where we stand, we condemn violence in every way,” Simeone said. “These situations aren’t good for society, nor for people like us who live on the field.”
Sunday’s street fight led to the death of 43-year-old Deportivo fan Francisco Javier Romero Taboada, who died in hospital after emergency services had rescued him from a river where he fell during the fight.
Deportivo, for their part, said on Tuesday that they were temporarily closing a section of their Riazor Stadium frequented by radical groups for their next two games. Both matches are against Malaga. The first is in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, followed by their league match on Saturday.
Deportivo president Tino Fernandez called the decision “symbolic.”
Fernandez also said the club will hold a moment of silence for the dead fan before Wednesday’s game.
Both clubs said they are continuing to investigate the incident, as are Spain’s sports authorities.
In a statement released by Madrid court No. 34, they said that all 21 men arrested by police belonged to radical fan groups. The club said four men belonged to “Atletico Front,” while the rest belonged to “Riazor Blues,” “Bukaneros,” and “Allkor Hooligans.”
The clashes on a paved walkway alongside Madrid’s Manzanares River also left 11 with minor injuries. (supersport.com)