Police closing in on hooligan of Villarreal-Celta game

Madrid, Feb 18: Spanish police believe they are close to solving the case of who threw a teargas canister on the pitch of the El Madrigal Stadium two minutes from the end of the BBVA Primera Liga game between Villarreal and Celta Vigo Saturday night.

Speaking Monday, the government delegate in the Valencia Autonomous Community (Comunitat Valenciana), Paula Sanchez de Leon, confirmed that police, who have analysed images from the numerous security cameras in the ground, have a suspect for the action, adding they hope to make an arrest “soon”, reports Xinhua.

“There is a line of enquiry open over who could have done this,” she said, adding that although it was “better not to give much data until the investigation had been concluded,” the investigation would be concluded “quickly”.

The game was halted by matchday referee, Fernandez Borbalan amid chaotic scenes, which were broadcast around the world as the canister let out large quantities of gas, causing what Borbalan described in his post-match report as “severe itching in the eyes of the players and refereeing team, which increased in seconds.”

The ground was evacuated as a precaution by security forces and although the remaining minutes of the game were played after a 25 minute delay, it was played in front of virtually empty stands.

Eleven people needed treatment for the effects of the gas, which came from a canister normally used by the Spanish military, while another needed treatment after a panic attack.

Villarreal club president, Fernando Roig showed his anger over the incident in a post-game press conference in which he blamed the incident on someone, “who had acted with the express aim of trying to harm the club.”

IANS