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Suspects in court over deadly Spain football riot

02 December 2014, 23:00

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

Another of the clubs whose fans were linked to the brawl, Deportivo de La Coruna, meanwhile 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 Stadium in western Madrid saw rioters marauding with metal bars and knives and raised tough security questions for Spanish authorities.

A judge was due on Monday to question the suspects accused of public order offences and assaulting officers among other charges, a police source said.

Also read: Costa loss won't blunt Chelsea, says Mourinho

None of those suspects faces 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 and Alcorcon.

Atletico said on Tuesday it was expelling from the club members of Frente Atletico, a hardline supporters' group reputed to harbour 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 Tuesday that the Maraton Inferior stand in its Riazor stadium would be closed during a cup game on Wednesday and a league tie on Saturday, both against Malaga.

A minute's silence will be held before Wednesday'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," Spain's junior security minister Francisco Martinez said on Monday.

But 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 travelling 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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