Madrid under tight security for 'high risk' Libertadores final

Santiago Bernabeu (Getty Images)
Santiago Bernabeu (Getty Images)

Madrid - Nearly 4,000 police and private security guards will be deployed in Madrid for the "high-risk" Copa Libertadores final between Argentine rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate, the government said Friday.

More than 2,000 national police will deploy around the Santiago-Bernabeu stadium on Sunday where both teams will be playing far from home after the second leg final was postponed following an attack by River fans on Boca's team bus.

That is more than for the last Champions League final in the 81,000-seat stadium in 2010 when national police deployed a 1,400-strong force.

It is also more than the 1,500 police officers deployed for the "clasico" game between rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona that took place under high security five days after the 2015 Paris attacks.

Apart from national police officers, 1,700 private security guards will be used on Sunday by Real Madrid, which owns the stadium.

City hall has called on 150 municipal police while 150 emergency workers will be on site, said Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes, the central government's representative in Madrid.

"These are really big measures as it's a high-risk match," he told reporters.

CONMEBOL, South America's football federation, decided to rearrange the game, controversially moving it from Argentina to Spain amid fears of further fan violence.

The stadium will be surrounded by a triple security cordon, as Spain remains on high terror alert -- at level four out of five.

Two fan zones will be set up on either side of the stadium.

Two large squares -- Puerta del Sol and Plaza Colon -- have also been set aside for celebrations after the match depending on who wins. They are just under two kilometres apart.

Rodriguez said some 200 to 300 "particularly violent" supporters from each team had been identified by Spanish and Argentinian authorities, but if was unclear whether they were in Madrid or not.

He added that supporters found to have a "serious" criminal record could be sent straight back to Argentina if they came to Madrid.

Between 5,500 and 6,000 out of 10,000 tickets for supporters living in Argentina have been sold, Rodriguez said.


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