MADRID, Dec 6 (Reuters) - A member of Boca Juniors’ football hooligan gang was deported from Spain ahead of Sunday’s Copa Libertadores showdown against River Plate, police said on Thursday, amid a massive security operation for a game rescheduled due to violence.
Spanish police said “one of the most significant” hooligans, with a long criminal record, was spotted at Madrid’s international airport on Wednesday night ahead of the South American club final showdown between the Argentine arch-rivals.
“This person has been returned to Argentina. There is no place for violence in football,” they added via Twitter.
The second leg of the final was scheduled for Nov. 24 in Argentina but was postponed, then moved to Madrid, after several Boca players sustained injuries when rocks were thrown at their team bus as it arrived at River’s Monumental stadium.
Spanish police are calling the security operation for Sunday’s match the biggest ever for a game in Madrid.
More than 2,500 officers are expected to be on duty for the match, known as the ‘Superclasico’ and regarded as one of the world’s fiercest football rivalries.
The first leg, played at Boca’s Bombonera stadium, ended 2-2. (Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)