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  HOME | Sports (Click here for more)

Scores of English Fans Take First Trains to Madrid for Champions League Final

ALICANTE, Spain Ė Hundreds of English soccer fans took the first high-speed trains from Alicante to Madrid on Saturday ahead of the first all-English UEFA Champions League final in 11 years between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Some 200 fans traveled to the Spanish capital on the first train of the day, which has left at 7:14 am local time.

Two more trains were scheduled to leave Alicante for Madridís Atocha railway station on the morning, both of which were expected to be filled with fans of the teams.

Spanish police and railway operators have organized surveillance in order to ensure safety at the terminal in Alicante.

Alicante is the Spanish province with the most British residents; about 90,000 Britons live there and they make up about 25 percent of the whole British population residing in Spain.

Every year, around two million British tourists come to visit Alicante province, especially Benidorm and other neighboring towns.

Security sources told EFE the overall atmosphere was quiet and no incidents have been reported, except for an 80-year-old man aboard a minibus suffering a stroke when he arrived to the stationís parking lot.

He was transferred to Alicante General Hospital, according to the same sources.

Five British citizens were arrested late Friday in Madrid following alleged altercations with police officers deployed to maintain security over the course of the Champions League final weekend.

Over 5,000 security forces members, most of them from the National Police, are being deployed across the capital ahead of the match that will take place at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Saturday night.

A total 4,200 officers of the National Police, along with 500 municipal police, 500 paramedics and 700 security guards will be on duty.

A National Police drone will fly near the stadium and police and UEFA will have joint teams to provide assistance and information to fans.

Although the gates of the stadium will not open until 6:00 pm, fans are recommended to arrive from five onwards to avoid crowding at security checkpoints.

Along with fan zones, three festival zones have been set up in the city with activities and concerts in Plaza de Callao, Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor.

 

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