24 Nov 2010

Police intercept group of fans trying to take 'fighting sticks' to Holland

11:36 am on 24 November 2010

Spanish police have intercepted a group of radical Real Madrid football supporters who tried to fly to Amsterdam with 19 sticks of various sizes that they intended to use to fight Ajax Amsterdam fans.

The group, members of the Ultras Sur faction, were stopped at Madrid's Barajas airport at 6.30 a.m. local time after trying to check in a bag containing the sticks.

Officers confiscated the weapons and allowed the fans to continue their journey to the Dutch capital, where Real play Ajax in the Champions League group stage later on Wednesday.

A police spokeswoman says the fans planned to travel to Amsterdam with the clear and specific intention of attending a fight with the Ajax fans, adding that the group were reacting to attacks and provocations by Ajax fans during their September match in Madrid.

A police spokeswoman could not confirm how many Real fans were in the group but local media reported there were about 165.

Real are top of Group G ahead of Italian side AC Milan and have already secured a place in the knockout round.

Milan, who lead Ajax by a point, will join the Spaniards in the next stage if they beat French club Auxerre on Thursday and Ajax lose to Real later today.