The State Commission against Violence, Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance declared the clash between Arsenal and Atletico this Thursday as ‘high-risk’, according to reports in Spain.
Spanish publication AS wrote on Tuesday that the commission has decided to send 1,355 security personnel to the match.
Those personnel will be members of the Mobile Brigade, the Police Intervention Unit, Canine Guides, Subsoil and the National Sports Office of the National Police, the Civil Guard, as well as Municipal Police, Red Cross, and security guards and assistants of Atlético de Madrid.
Arsenal have prepared their own fan guide for the match, if you’re planning to attend. They give details of a police escort from a nearby square (Plaza del Céfiro) to get to the stadium. Clearly the club are trying to do everything they can to avoid any problems.
Despite all the security guards, police and the rest, hopefully Thursday will just be about a match between two football teams. The near 68,000 seat stadium should be close to full capacity for what should be an exciting European semi-final.
Arsenal have to score at least one away goal to have a chance of qualifying for the final. In a way, that makes the task as straight-forward as it could be. There’s no lead to defend, and in fact conceding a goal wouldn’t make much difference. It’s score or go out either way.