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La Liga stamping out violence


La Liga stamping out violence

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MADRID (AP) – The president of Spain’s football league is telling clubs they must commit to eradicating violent fans groups among members or face fines and penalties.

Javier Tebas said today he plans to draft a list of clubs that collaborate with radical “ultra” groups and proposed sanctions including “points deductions or relegation”.

The league, the football federation and the committee for sports safety are meeting today to “consolidate the strategy for removing the ultras from our stadiums”, he said.

Authorities were also “preparing measures to curb verbal violence” which he said can lead to physical violence.

Tebas said the league had fired former Deportivo la Coruna president Augusto Lendoiro after learning he attended the funeral of a hardcore ultra-fan who died in a fight between rival supporters in Madrid on Sunday.

Lendoiro was in May appointed a goodwill ambassador for Spain’s league and charged with promoting the organisation overseas after acting as president of Deportivo for 25 years.

Tebas said he was astonished to learn that more than 100 people had attended the funeral of Francisco Javier Romero Taboada. The fan’s coffin was draped in a radical group’s flag and flares and smoke fireworks were set off at the cemetery.

“I was very surprised to see Lendoiro at the funeral, so I made the decision to dismiss him,” Tebas said, adding it was “not correct behaviour” from someone linked to the league.

“Going to a public event lends credibility and acts as an apology to someone who came to Madrid with violence in mind,” Tebas said, adding that Lendoiro’s dismissal had not been hasty.

“There are decisions that do not require much thought,” he said.