MADRID (Reuters) – The Spanish government’s top sports official has sent out a message of calm and said there is no reason for Saturday’s La Liga ‘Clasico’ between Real Madrid and Barcelona to be postponed following Friday’s attacks in Paris.
Miguel Cardenal, the head of Spain’s sports council (CSD), said officials would meet on Wednesday to discuss security at the match at Real’s Bernabeu stadium and steps would be taken to allow fans to attend the match “with a guarantee of normality”.
Europe is on high alert following the deadly bombings and shootings in the French capital and a friendly match between the Spanish national team and their Belgian rivals due to take place in Brussels later on Tuesday has been postponed.
The ‘Clasico’ is one of the highest-profile games in world soccer, with around 80,000 fans set to pack the Bernabeu and hundreds of millions more around the world watching some of the game’s biggest names like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“We are the first ones interested in making sure nothing untoward occurs,” Cardenal told reporters.
“So if anything happens that requires the public to be given certain instructions like suspending a match that will be done,” he added.
“The correct message is one of calm. The advice is the same as last week, to act normally and in absolute freedom.”
Champions Barca top the La Liga standings after 11 matches, three points ahead of second-placed Real.
(Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Justin Palmer)