Real Madrid have acted fast to ban 17 fans for life after they were caught singing abusive songs about Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Catalonia.
The LFP (Spanish league) are looking to clamp down on hooligans following the tragic death of a fan outside the stadium at a recent Atletico Madrid vs Deportivo La Coruna match.
The European champions are one of few clubs to be actively looking to clamp down on ‘ultras’ and hooliganism and banned the fans after they targeted the Argentine genius and his club during Real’s victory over Celta Vigo on Saturday.
The chants referred to Messi as ‘abnormal’ and ‘bloody Catalonia’.
Javier Tebas, the LFP president, reported the chants and later told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser: ‘Our qualitative step forward or new commitment is that if the referee does not hear it we will draw attention to it.There were insults and unacceptable chants at the Bernabeu, so I gave the order to report them.’
He admits that action should have been taken sooner in the war against hooliganism:’I made a mistake in not seeing this as a problem in football and I won’t make it again.
‘We have fattened up a monster which must be banished. We have taken this decision and we will continue down the same path.’
Real Madrid host Ludogorets in the Champions League on Tuesday night, looking to finish the group stage with maximum points.