MADRID, March 12 (Reuters)
- The Spanish Football Federation are to tighten
security measures at next week's King's Cup final
between Real Madrid and Real Zaragoza in the wake of the
bomb attacks that killed close to 200 people in the
The Federation have also
confirmed that this weekend's fixtures in the Primera
Liga will go ahead after the government urged them to
continue with the matches as planned.
"We have talked with
government and police representatives in order to
improve security at the Cup final," a spokeswoman for
the Federation said on Friday.
"But for obvious reasons
we will not be releasing any details about the specific
measures we will be taking for the game. This weekend's
league matches will go ahead as scheduled."
The Federation also
announced that they will be shelving plans for pre-match
entertainment and associated events that normally
accompany the final.
Real Madrid will face
Zaragoza at the Montjuic Olympic stadium in Barcelona
next Wednesday with over 50,000 people expected to
In a statement on their
website, the Federation expressed their sympathies with
the victims of the attacks but reiterated their
determination that the attacks would not affect this
They said a minute's
silence would be observed before the start of all
matches and that players would wear black armbands as a
mark of respect for the victims.
Real Madrid also play
Zaragoza in a league match in the Spanish capital on
On Thursday, after
consultation with the Spanish government and the
Football Federation, European soccer's governing body
UEFA decided to go ahead with the matches involving
Spanish clubs despite requests from them for their
Atletico Madrid said on
Friday that they had called for their league match
against Real Sociedad in San Sebastian on Saturday to be
postponed in order to respect the three days of national
mourning announced by the government.
But the club said that
they had finally agreed to play the game in accordance
with the government's wishes.
"We are going to go to
San Sebastian but we have no real desire to play,"
Atletico captain Carlos Aguilera told a news conference
"The authorities have
obliged us to play and all I can say is that the whole
squad is deeply affected by what happened and will do
all they can to help people recover from the terrible
events of yesterday."
Other sporting events,
including the men's hockey Olympic qualifying tournament
in Madrid, will also go ahead as scheduled this weekend
with all teams involved observing the minute's silence
ordered by the government.
By Simon Baskett