Copa Libertadores: Police concern before the arrival of the most radical fans of River and Boca | sports

Copa Libertadores: Police concern before the arrival of the most radical fans of River and Boca | sports



The National Police and the Government Delegation in Madrid work against the clock to finalize the security device of the party that will face next December 9 to River Plate and Boca Juniors at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. Citizen Security agents recognize that they are facing a high-risk encounter, in which the hobbies are not controlled in advance, and the exact number is unknown of people who will go to the stadium. To this is added the existence of radical fans in both clubs, which have already starred in violent acts in Argentina.

One of the main problems that the agents face is that Madrid will be in those days in full bridge of the Constitution, in which the city receives thousands of visitors. In previous editions, it has been estimated that there were up to 600,000 tourists, mostly Spaniards. This high number of people, together with the residents of Madrid, makes the most central areas of the capital collapse. This translates into a strong deployment of all units of Public Safety, especially with the Police Intervention (UIP, riot) in these places. This includes transport interchanges, train and bus stations and the airport.

To this is added that Spain is at level 4 alert for the fight against terrorism, so we must maintain the presence of agents at strategic points, with the consequent detriment to other acts, such as the final of the Copa Libertadores. "We work at full speed because mounting a device with these characteristics is very difficult. You have to evaluate many risks, "says a Citizen Security command.

It is expected that next week there will be a meeting in the Government Delegation in which police officers from Madrid, responsible for the Ministry of the Interior and the City Council of the capital will participate. This includes the presence of the Municipal Emergency and Rescue Ambulance Service (Samur), the fire brigade of Madrid and the Municipal Police, as well as the Civil Traffic Guard. From there, it will be possible to know which is the approximate device of personnel that will work on Sunday.

The group leader of the National Sports Office, Inspector Juan Carlos Gil Muñoz, explained this morning that he is in contact with the Argentine authorities to receive information on how many fans will travel to Madrid. Data is also being collected from the Spanish Football Federation and the clubs themselves. "The device will not focus only on the game, but also on the before and after, which also includes the airport," said Gil Muñoz.

"It is still too early to know how many agents will form the device, it will be based on the information we receive from all parties involved," said the inspector. This has advanced that it could mobilize agents of the IPU of other autonomous communities in case the number of officials in Madrid is not enough in those days. "We always modulate the number of police depending on whether the fans are calm or more radical, in the latter case, it increases more", added Gil Muñoz. He recalled that in 2010 Madrid hosted the Champions League final and there were no incidents.

"We already have experience in this type of celebrations, it is a challenge, something very interesting and we hope that everything goes well", he concluded.

The only possible reference right now are the Champions League matches held in Madrid, in which some 1,500 emergency service personnel participate. If the party is at a greater risk, the number can reach 2,000. "It is very difficult to know what the final figure will be, because you have to see how many people intervene and at what times. Give a number is very risky, "admit sources of the Government Delegation in Madrid. They are committed to disseminating all the information once that coordination meeting is concluded.

In a high-risk party, UIP agents, canine guides, cavalry, subsoil and helicopters of the National Police participate, along with officials of the Municipal Police in charge of regulating traffic, health of the Samur that deploy field hospitals to attend to the injured and volunteers of Civil Protection, as well as mobility agents.

Another problem faced by police commanders is that they will also have to control the borders, especially the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, where it is expected to receive the bulk of the hobbies that come to see the meeting. When a match of these characteristics is celebrated and a team from Madrid plays, you just have to control the visiting fans. It is encapsulated (surrounded by agents) and placed in a specific place in the stadium.

With the final of the Copa Libertadores there is the added problem that the two hobbies come from outside the city. In this way, the number of agents in the deployment will have to be increased in order to prevent the followers of Boca and River from joining and reproducing the confrontations experienced in the previous matches.



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