Nine "high risk" radical groups active in Spanish football

VIOLENCE IN FOOTBALL

Nine "high risk" radical groups active in Spanish football

El Frente Atlético, en un partido de Copa contra el Rayo Vallecano en el Estadio de Vallecas.

CHEMA DIAZ

DIARIO AS

Six ultras groups operate in the top division, two in the Second Division and one in the Segunda Division B, according to a report by the Anti-Violence Commission.

Nine radical supporters groups classified as "high risk" remain in operation in the top three divisions of Spanish leagie football, accoprding to a report compiled by the State Anti-Violence Commission at the end of 2017.

Atlético fan stabbed close to stadium

The stabbing of an Atlético de Madrid fan which occurred close to the Wanda Metropolitano last night and the arrest of the suspected perpetrator - also an Atleti supporter and a member of the Suburbios Firm — a splinter group formed by radical fans who were expelled from the Frente Atlético, has put the problem of organized, violent football groups back into the spotlight.

The most recent official examination regarding the current situation of such groups mentions six active ultra groups in LaLiga Santander: Frente Atlético (Atlético de Madrid), Riazor Blues (Deportivo de La Coruña), Biris Norte (Sevilla), Malaka and Frente Bokerón (Málaga) and Iraultza (Alavés).

The Commission, who are aiming to eradicate all forms of violence in sport, also cite radical supporters groups in the next two tiers of Spanish football - Avispero and Ligallo Fondo Norte (both from Zaragoza but with opposed ideologies) in the Second Division, and Jove Elx (Elche) in the Second Division B.

The Commision's report has been forwarded to the Spanish Football Federation who will in turn, pass on the "provisional list" of groups who are considered to include supporters of a radical or violent nature to clubs in all three divisions. The idea is that the list of groups is regularly revised so that clubs can take the necessary measures to avoid any kind of promotion or visibility for such groups during matches whether the team is playing home or away.

Serious incidents involving Atlético's Frente

Out of all of the aforementioned groups, the Frente Atlético is the most numerous and some of its members have been involved in various incidents of great concern over the past few years.

Among the most serious, was the tragic murder of young Real Sociedad fan Aitor Zabaleta who was knifed in the area close to the Vicente Calderón on 8 December 1998 (the suspect detained after last night's incident was also questioned about Zabaleta's murder), and the death of Francisco Javier Romero, 'Jimmy' a member of the Riazor Blues who drowned after being tipped into the Manzanares River during a mass brawl with the Frente Atlético in December 2014.

Collusion and a more tolerant attitude towards violent supporters by a number of Spanish clubs contributed to the development of radical groups, especially during the 1990s, although action by many clubs have seen some of the most infamous and violent factions such as Real Madrid's Ultra Sur, Barcelona's Boixos Nois and Espanyol's Brigadas Blaquiazules practically disappear.

The majority of these groups have far right-wing ideologies, although there are groups with extreme left-wing leanings such as Rayo Vallecano's Bukaneros.

The Bukaneros do not figure in the list of "high risk" radical groups - nor do Valencia's Yomus, who have been associated with recent violent incidents which occurred on 9 October during the region's National Day of Valencià in which several arrests were made.

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