Atletico Madrid has expelled seven members from club membership and has banned a supporter group from the Vicente Calderon following a prematch fight that left one dead.
The club said in a release, “Among those identified are 15 people who say they are Atletico Madrid supporters, of which seven were club members. Those members have been expelled immediately.”
Atletico also said they have banned supporter group Atletico Front for their alleged actions in the brawl.
The fight occurred this weekend prior to Atletico’s 2-0 win over Deportivo, and saw severely beaten 43-year-old fan Francisco Javier Romero Taboada thrown into the freezing cold Manzanares River. Firefighters reportedly rescued the man from the river and successfully revived him following a heart attack and hypothermia, but he died later that day at the hospital.
“It’s disgusting, that scum has no place in football,” said Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin immediately following the incident. “I just hope that they identify those responsible so they can’t repeat actions as regrettable as these.”
“This is a social issue linked to political thoughts because hooligans of Rayo are coupled with hooligans the Deportivo to fight with hooligans of Atlético de Madrid,” Marin continued. “That is not football, it has nothing to do with it. It is a disgrace and it is regrettable. We will listen to the police and the Administration and assess what measures can be taken beyond those which have already been taken, which are many.”
After the match was completed, a La Liga official told media they had tried to contact the Spanish FA about possibly postponing the match after the incident, but they couldn’t get in touch with anyone from the headquarters.
Video of the incident appeared online, with supporters appearing to carry massive stick-like weapons. Stab wounds were also reported after the fight.
I repeat, from where we stand, we condemn violence in every way,” Manager Diego Simeone said. “These situations aren’t good for society, nor for people like us who live on the field.”
The picture above reads in Spanish ‘Here was murdered Francisco J. Romero. No forgetting no forgiving’ and was taken at the site of the brawl.