Incidents prior to Real-Benfica and launching of flares in Anoeta

Troubled day in San Sebastián on the occasion of the Champions League duel between Real Sociedad and Benfica. The Ertzaintza has arrested at least three people in the previous incidents that have occurred in the surroundings of Anoeta in the moments before the match, during which the altercations have been repeated with the launching of several flares from the sector intended for the fans visitor to the local area.

Before the match, when the royalist fans were having a drink in Plaza Armerías, the usual meeting place for the royalist fans before the matches, around fifty hooded Benfica ultras burst into the area. Apparently, this group of radicals broke away from the main group of fans behind the Ertzaintza and looked for realistic fans in the Amara neighborhood.

When the attack occurred, the Ertzaintza was not at the scene, although it did not take long to arrive. During the police intervention, there were charges and three arrests were made, although it is not known to what fandom those arrested belong. The arrests occurred shortly before six in the afternoon, an hour before the start of the game.

It is worth remembering that Benfica’s ultras had been protagonists in previous European matches by launching flares and in this match the club stressed “the extreme importance of having irreproachable behavior throughout the entire match” throughout the match. However, during the match in Anoeta, flares were first seen lit in the area where the Portuguese fans were located and later they were even launched towards the local sector. Some 1,800 Portuguese fans have traveled to San Sebastián to watch the Champions League match live.

Last season, the behavior of the Lisbon ultras during their visit to Inter in the Champions League was already punished by UEFA, which prohibited the fans of the ‘eagles’ from attending their next European trip, which coincidentally was also to the Italian city, to face the ‘neroazzurro’ team again. In that match, Portuguese fans lit several torches and threw them at the Italian fans who were in the stands below, causing some injuries, including an 8-year-old child. “These inappropriate behaviors not only compromise the international image of the club but also have serious economic impacts and prevent the team from having the support that helps achieve the victories that we want so much,” the club added.

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