Second night of clashes between police and Leicester soccer fans in Madrid

Officers clear Spanish capital’s historic Plaza Mayor after flares set off and bottles thrown

Clashes between fans of English soccer side Leicester City and Spanish police continued for a second day in Madrid on Wednesday, ahead of a first-leg Champions League quarter final against Atlético Madrid.

Once again, supporters of the English Premier League reigning title holders, among them many families, had gathered in Madrid’s historic Plaza Mayor. For most of the day, fans were generally well-behaved, although some mocked beggars who gather in the square, throwing coins at them. Fans of Dutch side PSV Eindhoven were filmed doing the same last year.

As the afternoon continued, with temperatures close to 30ºC, in the run up to the kick off at 8.45pm local time, a group of fans let off flares that created a haze of thick blue smoke.

When around 20 riot police intervened to put the flares out and warn fans not to light others, they were quickly challenged by a large group of chanting supporters, some of whom threw bottles and tins at the officers, who were quickly backed up by support units that managed to isolate around 100 trouble makers, with dozens of others scattering into the busy narrow streets around the 17th century square.

Trouble started after a group of fans let off flares in the square

Leicester fans, who later saw their side lose 1-0 to their hosts in a closely fought game, had managed to place banners from one of the balconies overlooking the Plaza Mayor reading: Leicester City on Tour and Mind the gap. The latter is a reference to the warning given on London Underground to passengers when leaving a carriage and to the song was sung to London sides Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur when they played at Leicester in the closing stages of last season.

There were no reports of any arrests on Wednesday night, but on Tuesday, some eight Leicester fans were detained and six police officers injured.

English version by Nick Lyne.


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