TWO men thought to be directly responsible for the death of a Spanish football fan are amongst 30 arrested this morning (Tuesday, December 16).
They are all suspected of taking part in organised fights outside the Atletico Madrid stadium on November 30 in which a Deportivo la Coruña fan died.
Francisco Javier Romero Taboada, known as Jimmy, was thrown into an icy river during the clashes and succumbed to hypothermia which brought on a heart attack. He died in hospital after being dragged from the river by police.
The arrests were made in Madrid, Avila and Toledo, and all those held were members of the Frente Atletico, one of a number of hardcore fans’ groups known in Spain as Ultras.
After Jimmy’s death the Spanish government ordered the sacking of the security chiefs at both Atletico and Deportivo as soul searching started amongst many in the football world.
What shocked many was that the fighting had been preplanned using messaging services to draw in fans looking for trouble from various hardcore Ultra groups, including from some who supported other teams.
Atletico has banned the Frente Atletico saying anyone wearing its paraphernalia such as scarves and badges or carrying banners will be ejected from the ground.