Special meeting to discuss security for El Clasico
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 18, 2015 11:52 AM
(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
AP Sports Writer
MADRID (AP) — The terrorist attacks in Paris have prompted Spanish authorities to schedule an extraordinary meeting to discuss security measures for the biggest game of the season — Real Madrid vs. Barcelona on Saturday.
Top security officials will meet on Wednesday to determine whether the match in Madrid should be considered a high-risk event.
It's not unusual for the clasico to be labeled a high-risk game, but extra precautions are expected because of the Paris attacks that killed 129 people and injured more than 350 on Friday.
Miguel Cardenal, the country's highest sports official, said on Tuesday that there was no reason for now to consider canceling the much-anticipated match at the Santiago Bernabeu, although it "will be done" if necessary.
"We have to play this match because we can't ever give in to the terrorists or to anybody who wants to force us to chance the way we live our lives," said Cardenal, president of the Spanish government's higher sports council. "They are not going to achieve that."
Cardenal will be one of the officials attending the special meeting of the interior ministry's anti-violence commission, which is responsible for discussing security measures for public events across Spain. The extraordinary session was scheduled specifically because of what happened in France last week, the ministry's press office said.
Games between Real Madrid and Barcelona have been considered high-risk events in the past mostly because of threats of fan violence, not terrorism.
Wednesday's meeting takes place two days after the Belgian Football Association was forced to call off a friendly against Spain because of security concerns in Brussels.
Cardenal said there were "different circumstances" in Belgium.
"We already have extraordinary measures in place for quite some time (in Spain)," he said. "We will do whatever is needed to guarantee that fans can safely go watch the world's greatest match on Saturday."
On Tuesday, Germany canceled the friendly with the Netherlands in Hannover because government officials said there was a serious threat of a bomb at the stadium.
"People need to remain calm," Cardenal said, "they need to know that there are a lot of people working to guarantee their safety."
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