A Spanish soccer fan has died after various fights erupted before Atletico Madrid’s match with Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
The man has been named as Francisco Javier Romero Taboada, and according to the Daily Mail he received numerous head injuries.
Fans of both Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna clashed in the streets ahead of their meeting in the Spanish capital.
It has been reported that 43-year-old Toboada was pulled out of the Manzanares river, which runs next to Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium, before the match had even begun on Sunday. He is believed to have succumbed due to hypothermia, head injuries, and cardiac arrest.
After learning of this fatality, the National Professional Football League allegedly then tried to get the match called off entirely. However they couldn’t contact the Royal Spanish Football Federation, who are the only organization that can inform a referee to cancel a match.
When the game started at midday in Spain, the severity of the victim’s condition was known. He then continued to decline rapidly and during the first half of the contest employees at the LFP tried to get the match suspended. Toboada was officially declared dead between 2 pm and 3 pm.
Toboada is thought to have become embroiled in the brawls that started near the stadium and the river from as early as 8:40 am, which was three hours and 20 minutes before the match had even begun.
Numerous brawls were conducted by Madrid and Deportivo fans. At least a dozen people are believed to have been injured, including one policeman. In an attempt to combat the growing violence, 25 people were arrested and it has been reported that close to 180 people were involved in the disturbance.
Speaking after the announcement of Toboada’s death, Enrique Cerezo, the president of Atletico Madrid, condemned the attacks and insisted that both clubs would now be doing their upmost to bring those responsible to justice.
“I want to say that this has nothing to do with football. These are radical groups who meet up and these are the consequences. I repeat that neither Atletico nor Deportivo have anything to do with these incidents, they are organised by radical groups who have their histories and their accounts to settle.”
Deportivo president Tino Fernandez echoed these sentiments, declaring that his club have a “vehement opposition to violence.”
Atletico Madrid went on to win the contest by two goals to nil.
[Image via 3News]