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Spanish club mourns fatal clash fan

Players of Spanish football club Deportivo La Coruna have held a minute's silence for a fan who died in a street clash with Atletico Madrid supporters before a match.

Deportivo's players stopped their Monday morning training session and formed a ring on the centre circle of the practice field.

The club said the players "held a minute of silence as a sign of mourning and rejection" of the violence that led to the death of a 43-year-old man it identified as Francisco Javier Romero Taboada.

"With the gesture, the players will show their condolences and support for the family of Francisco Javier Romero Taboada," who the club said went by the nickname of Jimmy.

The fatal fight has been condemned by both clubs and Spain's sports authorities.

The fight broke out on Sunday morning near Atletico's Vicente Calderon Stadium when groups of men battled along the banks of the Manzanares River.

Emergency services rescued the man from the river and initially resuscitated him before transferring him to the hospital where he died hours later.

Eleven more people received minor injuries in the fight, including one police officer who had a broken finger.

Police made 24 arrests among four radical groups linked to football clubs, naming them as: Riazor Blues, Atletico Front, Buccaneers, and Alkor Hooligans.

Televised images showed men wielding metal poles, hurling chairs and launching flares at one another. The images included one man falling into the water after being surrounded by a group of attackers.

Sports newspaper Marca ran the headline "You are not needed" across an image of some of the arrested men, while AS went with the headline "The defeat of football".

Atletico board member Miguel Angel Marin said the incident near his club's stadium was "an embarrassment".

"We are going to listen to the police and authorities and evaluate which steps need to be taken beyond those we have already taken, which are many," he said.

In December 1998, a Real Sociedad fan was killed outside Atletico's stadium and a man was sentenced to a 17-year jail term for his murder.


From Belfast Telegraph