The man, who was not identified by name, was removed from the freezing cold Manzanares River near Atletico Madrid’s stadium, the Estadio Vicente Calderon. He had suffered a cardiac arrest, hypothermia and head injuries which the emergencies services confirmed.
He died shortly after 2pm as hospital staff tried their best to revive him. Eleven other people were taken in with minor injuries including a female police officer with a fractured hand.
Groups of hooligans gathered in Madrid Rio Public Park, close to Atletico’s stadium, where the violence began at around 9am, according to reports in Spain. After the clash, 20 people were taken in to custody and a total of 100 troublemakers had been identified, police said.
The brutal clash was condemned by both clubs and the Spanish league. Recently, there have been reports that the two ‘hard-core’ groups used firecracker, chairs and sticks against each other.
A total of 24 people have been arrested because of the violence, and the LFP issued a statement in reaction on their website: “The LFP expresses its condemnation at the incidents that took place on Sunday morning on the outskirts of the Vicente Calderon stadium before the week 13 match in La Liga between Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna.”
The committee had attempted to postpone the match but their efforts failed and Atletico won the tie 2-0, after a dark shadow had been cast over the game. The win has taken Atletico to within four points of leaders Real Madrid after Saul Niguez and Arda Turan struck either side of half time to give the home side the win.
After the match, Deportivo coach Victor Fernandez said: “It’s one of the saddest days in Spanish football in recent years. They are reprehensible and despicable acts.”
It is now up to Spanish Football’s governing bodies to act on those who caused the violence and ensure that this radicalistic style of football hooliganism in Spain is stopped before anymore tragedies occur. It is reported that groups from Madrid such as Rayo Vallecano and Alcorcon were also involved, emphasising the fact these ‘supporters’ were out to cause trouble ahead of the fixture.
Atletico Madrid Chief Executive Gil Marin has called out those who were involved in the death of the Deportivo fan as ‘scum who have no place in football’. Every club must unite against these hooligan groups in order to remove the violence from Spanish football.