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Champions League Final: Madrid on red alert for Liverpool and Tottenham 'hooligans'

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Champions League Final: Madrid on red alert for Liverpool and Tottenham 'hooligans'
Extra police will be on duty for the Champions League Final. File Photo: AFP
09:12 CEST+02:00
Spain will deploy 4,700 security personnel for Saturday's all-English Champions League final in Madrid which has been deemed "high risk", officials said Tuesday.

The security measures for the match between Liverpool and Tottenham will surpass those put in place for last year's "high risk" Copa Libertadores final between Argentine rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors in Madrid, said the director general of Spain's National Police, Francisco Pardo Piqueras.

"This will probably be the biggest deployment to guarantee security which we will carry out at a sporting event," he told a news conference.   

The security operation will involve over 2,000 national police officers, as well as police from other forces, firefighters and private security guards, the Spanish government said in a statement.

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Some 32,000 English fans are expected to watch the final at the 68,000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.   

Thousands more fans without a ticket to enter the stadium are expected to come to Madrid from Britain as well as from southern Spain and neighbouring Portugal, which have large English expat communities.

Spain's National Police force have set up a dedicated twitter account  at @policia_uclftfc for matters relating to the Champions League Final which will be in English so visiting fans can understand it. The latest tweet was warning fans to prepare properly for the sunny weather.

 

Nearly 4,000 police and private security guards were deployed for the Copa Libertadores final last year at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. 

The last time the Champions League final was held in the Spanish capital was in 2010, when Inter Milan defeated Bayern Munich 2-0.

Football Fever

UEFA have organised a festival of football for fans to coincide with the Champions League final. converting four squares in the very centre of the city into hotspots.

Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Callao and Plaza de Oriente – will all have activities for football fans beginning on Thursday and continuing until Sunday - all of them are open to the general public and are free to attend.

The festival kicks off with the arrival in Sol on Thursday at 11am of the Champions League trophy.  Fans will be able to take selfies with the cup, while Plaza Mayor has been converted into a football pitch where mini-matches will take place.

Music events from DJs  Dimitri and Like Mike in Sol to Colombian singer Carlos Vivas will be performing at different events in the plazas. 

A guide to the Champions League festival in Madrid has been produced by Madrid City hall and can be downloaded HERE.

Fan Zones

Two distinct fan zones have been set up in different parts of the city ahaed of the match where fans of the two teams can meet up before travelling to the Wanda Stadium.

Liverpool fans have been designated Plaza Felipe II for their Fan Zone - the square, with Salvador Dalí's Dolmen statue at one end, is not particularly big but there are plenty of bars close by and there is at least some shade from the sun. (Metro: Goya - Linea 2, the Red Line)

Spurs' Fan Zone is down the road at the Plaza de Colón between Recoletos and Calle Serrano, recognisable by the monument to Christopher Colombus and the enormous Spanish flag on the far end near to Serrano; it's more open and there are less bars close although trees provide some shade.

The nearest Metro stations are Colón and Serrano (both Linea 4 - the Brown Line) and it's also well served by buses - Numbers 14, 21, 27, 37, 45, 53, 150).

However, bars in close vicinity to both squares have expressed worries about overcrowding and 'hooliganism' and some owners have threatened to close during the match.

The fan zones are scheduled to close at 6pm - supposed to allow fans with tickets time to travel to the match - at which point all fans will be kicked out.

No big screens

City Hall authorities are insisting that they will not be setting up big screens in public areas in order to broadcast the match.  A policy that was speculated to be in place as to dissuade fans without tickets for the match coming to the city. 

It was rumoured that City Hall would in fact put up bog screens but only announce it at the last minute to discourage the influx of people. But by Wednesday morning, city hall still insisted there were to be no big screens. 

READ ALSO: Ten top tips to avoid being pickpocketed in Spain

 

 

 
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