"Never before" seen security operation for Copa Libertadores final in Madrid

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-06 23:37:23|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

MADRID, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Spanish Interior Ministry on Thursday announced a "deployment of police never seen before" to ensure there will be no violence at the Copa Libertadores final in Madrid on Sunday.

The game between Argentinean sides River Plate and Boca Juniors, arguably the two bitterest rivals in World football, was moved to Madrid after crowd violence in and around River Plate's Estadio Monumental led to it being postponed a fortnight ago.

Over 10,000 Argentineans are expected to travel to Madrid to watch the game, while there are 250,000 Argentinean residents in Spain, many of whom will also want to see the game.

"We are facing the game which has the biggest risk of violence in the history of Spain and we also have our international prestige at stake," commented Spanish Interior Ministry sources.

The 3,000 police on duty, is around a thousand more than are usually used for high risk games in Spain, such as Real Madrid v Barcelona, or the Madrid derby between Real and Atletico Madrid.

2,000 of those police will be Anti-Disturbance units of the Spanish National Police, who will be backed up by other police and specialist units such as anti-explosives experts, underground operatives and police helicopters, as well as the fire-brigade, ambulances and other emergency units.

Argentinean police are also believed to have travelled to Spain with the aim of recognizing and helping to apprehend known hooligans and ringleaders of the River and Boca Juniors 'Barras Bravas' Ultra groups as soon as they arrive at Madrid's Alfonso Suarez-Barajas Airport.

The Spanish police informed on Thursday that one well-known Boca ultra 'Maxi Mazzaro' was arrested at the airport in the early hours of the morning and deported immediately back to Argentina.

Sunday's operation will see the Paseo de la Castellana, the main thoroughfare in Madrid, blocked to traffic with fanzones for the rivals sets of fans established on either side of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to ensure the rival sets of supporters are unable to come into contact with each other.