Squad news


02 Dec 2014
Francisco Javier Romero Taboada, aka ‘Jimmy’ is the ninth person in Spain that dies since 1982 in incidents related to football. The police investigate the facts after a brutal fight between radical fans.

The Depor’s fan that died in Madrid after the fight between Deportivo and Atlético supporters was identified as Javier Romero Taboada, aka ‘Jimmy’, he was 43 and was married. He’s leaving a 19-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son. According to reports he’s a member of the Riazor Blues that’s used to attend to the Riazor and that also usually traveled during the away meetings. His nickname was “grandfather” and was described as a shy, but also conflictive person.

Initially it was reported that the fan was stabbed and that suffered hypothermia after been thrown into the river. The autopsy, however, revealed that he died because his spleen was broken [consequence of the beating] and for a trauma in the head apparently caused by a metal tube. Nobody has been arrested for this crime.

The police are still investigating why the fight took place. What’s totally confirmed is that there was a huge fight in a park at the edge of the Manzanares River.  There are several videos and declarations of witnesses explaining how the fight was developed. There’s even a dramatic video provided by Sportpaper AS in which is possible to see four men throwing Jimmy into the river, ten minutes later the same video shows how a group of six police men were taking him out.

Newspaper La Voz de Galicia phoned one of the receptionists at hotel NH Manzanares and he described what he saw, ”"My security partner told me to go out; we thought it was a demonstration, but to our surprise we saw that two groups were fighting at the other side of the river. They started to insult the other group, tossing flares and attacking the rivals with sticks, stones and punches. It was a very violent clash. It seemed the war.”

The fight was extended to a coffee shop that was near the park, there were Depor’s fans there too and they told to reporters how the radicals entered in order to get knives. There were other twelve people bounded, seven are supporters of Depor and five from Atlético, plus a policeman that suffered a finger fracture. The wounded people were stabbed and hit in the head, but the injuries weren’t serious, though one of the fans was also thrown into the river and another one suffered a deep cut in one arm.

The police wasn’t present at the moment of the fight (they arrived 25 minutes later); because it occurred three hours before the game and the security mechanism was going to be released later. It was the normal mechanism as the game was considered to be “a low-risk match”.  This is causing a lot of criticism, because it was also known that the federation of Peñas of Deportivo and the police in Coruña were aware that the Riazor Blues were traveling to the capital. The authorities in Madrid affirm they weren’t informed, but the delegate of the government in Galicia, Santiago Villanueva, told to La Voz de Galicia that they passed the information, though he didn’t bring details as it is “classified information.”

It was confirmed that twenty-one people were arrested (twelve belong to the Riazor Blues, two are from the Frente Atlético, two from Los Bukaneros and one from Alkor Hooligans) and, in order to prevent more incidents, the buses in which the Riazor Blues were traveling were detained and sent back to A Coruña. In the end only 300 fans were allowed to enter the stadium under the protection of a heavy group of police officers.

The reason of the fight remains uncertain. The police initially reported that one of the hypotheses was an arranged fight through whatsapp. The police also reported that there were other groups involved in the fight, Los Bukaneros (Rayo Vallecano’s radicals) and the Alkor Hooligans (Alcorcón radicals), though the first group denied any participation. This version was confirmed by a friend of the victim, who told La Voz de Galicia that they arranged the meeting at least one week before, though the Riazor Blues didn’t see it as an unusual thing.

However, there are other reports saying that the Riazor Blues were ambushed. A man told to Radio Galega that they were stepping out of the bus and were immediately attacked by a group of men with knives. He described the horror lived in those moments and how they were later detained by the police.

The Galician police reported an incident in A Coruña hours after the game ended. Six masked men attacked two Atletico fans, who were reunited in a bar in the neighborhood of La Gaiteira (bar La Parroquia). One was hit in the head with a bottle and the other punched in the face, but no serious injuries were reported. No one was arrested for this incident.

Radio Galega presented the version that the men that attacked the bar were blaming them for leaking the details of the Riazor Blues’ trip to Madrid. Another version is that it was retaliation for the attack before the match against Atlético Madrid.

Depor’s first team isn’t resting as there is a Copa match on Wednesday, so the team worked on Monday morning at Abegondo. Before the session started there was a minute of silence in the memory of Jimmy. There will also be a tribute before the Copa clash against Malaga CF.

The highest authorities for Sports in Spain had an emergency meeting on Monday; the meeting was arranged by the Board of Governors of Sports (CSD). The committee offered a press conference and a member of the committee, Francisco Martínez, said that the key for the incidents was that the police didn’t have any clue of what was going to happen, because they weren’t informed that the Riazor Blues were traveling.

He affirmed that the radicals got tickets for the game through secondary sources and that even rented buses from other providence (Lugo), which for them is a proof that they wanted to avoid the authorities. The police is investigating how they got the tickets and according to the radios in A Coruña the first version is that the federation of Peñas was the ones that provided the tickets. They promised that the responsible persons are going to be expelled from football. He also informed that the committee will present the motion to close the stands where these groups are gathered.

These were controversial declarations, because there are other versions saying that the authorities in Madrid were warned about the trip of the Riazor Blues. News Agency Europa Press talked to a source inside the club and the source confirmed that they were warned that at least one bus with ultras was travelling to the capital. The version was confirmed by the delegate of the government in Galicia, Santiago Villanueva, told to La Voz de Galicia that ”We passed the information from Galicia.”.

The death of Jimmy is the ninth in Spain since 1982 during incidents related to football. The previous death took place in 2012 after a Real Sociedad’s fans died after receiving the impact of a rubber bullet before a Champions League game before Schalke 04.

Of the nine people that died, three are related to Deportivo. On March 12, 1994; Emiliano López Prada was stabbed to death in a bar in a Coruña for celebrating a goal of FC Barcelona in a meeting against Atlético. Then, on October 8, 2008, Manuel Ríos Suárez, who was a Depor’s supporter, was stabbed to death as he was trying to protect a kid during a fight after a Copa game between Deportivo and SD Compostela.




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