The Spanish soccer association has sacked former Deportivo de la Coruña president Augusto César Lendoiro after learning he attended the funeral of the hardcore ultra fan who died in a fight with rival supporters in Madrid on Sunday.
Lendoiro – who was named an ambassador for the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), charged with promoting the organization abroad, in May after serving at the helm of Deportivo for 25 years – joined over 100 people at the service for Francisco Javier Romero, “Jimmy,” at Feáns municipal cemetery outside of A Coruña on Wednesday.
Flares and some smoke bombs were set off, but no more serious incidents were reported at the funeral
The coffin was draped with a Galician flag and a banner of Los Suaves, the faction of the Riazor Blues group of hardcore ultra Deportivo fans to which he belonged. Among the other mourners were a group who arrived by bus bearing the colors of other teams, including Madrid side Rayo Vallecano, whose radical fan group the Bukaneros was also implicated in the weekend fan battle.
A major police deployment consisting of five vanloads of officers watched over proceedings. Flares and some smoke bombs were set off, but no more serious incidents were reported.
At the institutional level Deportivo de la Coruña has expressed its support for the family of Romero, who died after being beaten and thrown into the Spanish capital’s Manzanares river during a clash with hardcore Atlético Madrid fans, but no member of the club went to the funeral ceremony or the chapel of rest.
Relations between the club and the Riazor Blues are tense, and even more so after Depor President Tino Fernández modulated a public statement he made at midday on Tuesday by saying that members of the group would be identified. Not only would many of them never be admitted into the stadium again, but neither would their symbols and placards, he added: “They are a stain on the name of Deportivo.”
A large part of the barely 8,000 supporters who turned up to watch Depor’s home King’s Cup match against Málaga on Wednesday whistled the minute’s silence held for Romero. The whistles were repeated at the end and there were also shouts for Fernández to resign, which were followed by other whistles in disapproval.