By Luke Prothero • 26 January 2020 • 14:59
Saturday had dawned tainted with violence in Spanish football. Both in Barcelona, where Espanyol-Athletic was played, as in Valencia (Valencia-Barcelona), there have been grave incidents among extreme fans of the teams.
Near the Mestalla stadium, radical followers of Valencia and Barça had engaged in a massive fight. The incidents started around noon, hours before the meeting was set to begin. Locals were terrified at the scenes surrounding the stadium. Locked doors and commercial buildings shut for the day.
Those involved in the incidents were throwing punches and beating each other with sticks; also, plastic cones have been thrown, while flares were set off causing areas of smoke on Sweden Avenue, where the primary access is to the stadium.
Furthermore, chairs and tables of open bars in the area were used to throw against those they faced. Police officers have retained and identified 60 people allegedly linked to the violent groups that had participated in the attacks and arrested a Barça supporter who had already been wanted by national police.
On the other hand, another group of radicals: Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao had a face-off in the centre of Cornellà, near the stadium before the match had begun. Similarly, the two groups had thrown all kinds of objects, such as tables, chairs and bottles. Most of them escaped when autonomous police forces arrived to perform their usual tasks of security.
The Catalonian police arrested five people and identified another 36 in Cornellà for the clashes between Espanyol and Athletic Club Bilbao. Those who have been detained are accused of public disorder and battery. There was at least one severely injured young man who had been sent to hospital yesterday evening.
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