The city of Madrid, the Government, the Spanish Football Federation, Real Madrid and Conmebol have already started the preparations to try to successfully complete the huge logistical challenge that means to organize in a week the final of the Copa Libertadores that will face River Plate and Boca Juniors at the Santiago Bernabéu next December 9 at 20.30.
The fans of River and Boca and the Spanish fans who want to watch the final already know that ticket sales will be made through the sales channels (on-line and at the box office) of Real Madrid starting on Sunday. The agreement for the distribution has meant that both entities have 5,000 tickets each for the fans that reside in Argentina. For those who live outside the country, there will be 22,000 to 24,000 seats per club, which will be sold on separate days to avoid hobbies from joining the Bernabéu.
Another 12,000 tickets will be managed by Real Madrid for its commitments with authorities, institutions and sponsors. The rest, until completing a capacity of more than 81,000 locations, will not go on sale for security reasons. The tickets, for which there are still no fixed prices, will be nominal. The fans of Boca will occupy the south pool and the team will train during the week in the Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Rozas. The fans of River will be located in the north and the group will work out in Valdebebas. In Argentina, fans have already begun to mobilize and travel agencies can barely offer flights and prices have skyrocketed.
Security is the other great challenge of the organization in the face of the threat that the "barras bravas" make an appearance in Madrid. The National Police and the Government Delegation work against the clock to finalize the security device. "We are proud to think that this city is chosen because it is safe and so welcoming", assured Mayor Manuela Carmena at Cadena SER. In Buenos Aires, during the meeting of the G-20, the Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, showed his agreement to his Spanish counterpart, Pedro Sánchez, for the final to be played in Spanish territory.
Citizen Security agents recognize that they face a high-risk encounter in which the hobbies are not controlled in advance. According to the Conmebol, the Spanish police already knows the identity of the fans who are prohibited from entering the stadium.
One of the main problems that the agents face is that Madrid will be in those days in full bridge of the Constitution. In previous editions, it has been estimated that there were up to 600,000 tourists, mostly Spaniards. According to data from the Hotel Business Association of Madrid last year the occupation of the capital exceeded 75%.
The high number of visitors, together with the residents of Madrid, means that the most central areas of the capital collapse. This translates into a strong deployment of all units of Public Safety, especially the Police Intervention (UIP, riot) in these places, in addition to transport interchanges, train and bus stations and the airport.
To this is added that Spain is at level 4 warning of the fight against terrorism, so it is necessary to maintain the presence of agents at strategic points, with the consequent detriment to other acts, such as the final of the Libertadores. "We work at full speed, because mounting a device with these characteristics is very difficult. You have to evaluate many risks, "says a police commander. It is expected that next week there will be a meeting in the Government Delegation with the participation of police commanders from the capital, responsible for the Ministry of the Interior and the City Council. The deployment will include the presence of the emergency ambulance service and rescue (Samur), the Fire Department 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 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's still too early to know how many agents will make up the device. It will be based on the information we receive from all parties involved, "the inspector added. He said that riot control agents from other autonomous communities could be mobilized if the number of officials in Madrid that day is not enough. "We always modulate the number of police according to the liking, whether calm or more radical. In the latter case, it increases more, "added Gil Muñoz, who 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 matches of the Champions League held in the city, in which about 1,500 emergency service personnel participate. If the encounter is of a greater risk, the number can reach 2,000. In a high-risk match, riot police, canine guides, cavalry and subsoil agents and helicopters from the National Police participate, along with municipal police officers in charge of regulating traffic, health workers from the Samur who deploy field hospitals to care for the wounded. , and Civil Protection volunteers, in addition to mobility agents.
Another problem faced by police officers is that they will also have to control the borders, especially the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, where it is expected to receive a part of the hobbies that come to see the meeting. When a clash 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 a considerable part of the fans can arrive 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. According to Angel Garrido, president of the Community, Madrid has "the best bodies and security forces in the world."
All are precautions for an unprecedented final in football that must be organized in a frenetic manner.