Spanish police confiscate pickaxes, clubs at Champions League game

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Spanish police were able to stop a potentially massive and dangerous brawl from breaking out during a Champions League match between Real Sociedad and Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

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A report from Ertzaintza members, the local police force of the Basque region, searched 20 vehicles and seized a staggering amount of “dangerous objects of prohibited use” before the Tuesday night match. In total, the police identified “50 at-risk followers” of Real Sociedad and another 100 French fans in the searches.

“It was possible through the networks to find out that they were meeting for a face-to-face fight, which was going to take place at 10:00 p.m. yesterday in Donostia,” said Security Councilor and Vice Lehendakari Josu Erkoreka in a translated excerpt from a Tuesday press conference. Erkoreka “They acted in advance, The confrontation was prevented from occurring and identifications and arrests were made. About 50 on the Basque side of the confrontation, to describe it in some way, and a hundred on the French side.”

The weapons confiscated from the potential brawlers were staggering. Seized materials included 15 golf clubs, a metal bar, three ice pickaxes, four mouth guards, two pairs of metal knuckles, a knife, two pocket knives, an extendable baton, various screwdrivers, a hammer, a flare, two drawer rails, three metal hinges, and several balaclavas.

Paris Saint-Germain fans have a history of starting fights during the Champions League. In this season alone, PSG fans have already started brawls with Newcastle and AC Milan fans. One brawl with Newcastle supporters even featured PSG fans using flares as missiles. Football culture in Europe is a different level of fandom, but some of the weapons confiscated could have turned a rowdy melee into a deadly altercation.

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