Spanish Soccer Hooligans Face Five-Year Ban After Deadly Brawl

Eighty-eight soccer fans involved in a deadly brawl less than a mile from Atletico Madrid’s stadium face a five-year ban from attending matches.

Francisco Romero, a 43-year-old supporter of Deportivo La Coruna, was killed in the Nov. 30 fight after being hit with a bar and thrown into a river. The clashes took place about four hours before a Spanish league match.

A government panel said in an e-mail today it proposed soccer authorities hand down the stadium ban and fines of 60,000 euros ($74,500) for the 88 fans.

Spanish police are trying to identify and arrest the murder suspects, a police spokesman in Madrid said by telephone. Twenty-one fans were detained and released on bail, and face public-disorder charges.

Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said Dec. 2 that clubs should follow Real Madrid and Barcelona in banning violent fan groups from their stadiums. Atletico Madrid Chief Executive Officer Miguel Angel Gil said it would ban a group linked to the fighting.

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