REAL MADRID coach Carlo Ancelotti used England as an example of how to combat hooliganism as Spanish football reels from the death of a Deportivo La Coruna supporter on Sunday following violent clashes between rival groups.
A 43-year-old man died after trouble erupted in the streets surrounding the Vicente Calderon stadium ahead of Atletico Madrid’s midday kick-off against visiting Depor.
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The man died in hospital on Sunday afternoon after firefighters pulled him out of the Manzanares river near Atletico’s home ground, while 12 more people were reported injured - some including stab wounds - during the fighting which was said to have involved around 200 people.
There have now been more than 10 deaths related to crowd trouble in Spain since 1982 and inquests have already begun into the latest incident, which has seen 24 people detained so far, as the authorities in Spain seek answers and solutions.
When asked about the issue during a press conference on Monday morning, former Chelsea boss Ancelotti highlighted the success English football has had in dealing with the problem.
The Italian, quoted by Spanish sports daily AS, said: “I experienced this in Italy. It’s a sad day. Everybody who works in football hopes that this never happens.
“It’s important to condemn all this, the violence around football. It’s clear that the whole footballing world has to work to prevent this in the future.
“I have experience in England and I think they have done many things and done very well to eliminate this scourge.
“They had a terrible experience with hooligans, they did an incredible job in dealing with the problems. In Spain they have to do the same to get rid of this plague.”
Ancelotti, who spent two years in charge at Stamford Bridge from 2011, added: “In England there’s not violence in the stadiums, there’s not police around the stadium before the game, there are kids at the games....
“In England I never received an insult. Here, around 15-20 days ago, a guy was insulting me throughout the game from behind the bench. It’s a question of culture as well, we are Latin. About the culture, I speak as an Italian, not as a Spaniard, and I think we can improve a lot.”
There was also an unsavoury crowd incident during Barcelona’s Primera Division match at Valencia on Sunday night, where Lionel Messi was struck on the head by a water bottle thrown from the stands as he celebrated his side’s late winner.
Messi walked off the pitch rubbing his head while also giving a thumbs up following the 1-0 victory at the Mestalla.
Ancelotti, speaking ahead of Madrid’s Copa del Rey clash against Cornella on Tuesday, said of that incident: “We all have to condemn violence, a bottle on the pitch or whatever, it’s violence.
“We can all do something. We’re not happy, we’re sad. We have to clean things up no matter what.”
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