Four arrests ahead of Champions League final by 'heavy-handed' Madrid police

Four Brits have been arrested for assault in Madrid ahead of the Champions League final.

Some of those arrested are accused of assaulting police officers, a spokesperson for the National Police force said.

Tens of thousands of Liverpool and Tottenham fan have descended on the Spanish capital this week for the final, which kicks off tonight at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Police in the city have mounted a major security operation in response and are already facing accusations of ‘heavy-handed’ tactics against the supporters.

Officers with batons confronted Spurs fans in Puerta del Sol shortly after 9pm on May 31.

A restaurant worker in the area said they were responding to complaints that the supporters had been acting aggressively and shouting abuse at Liverpool fans.

But fans outside the bar claimed the intervention was unprovoked, adding that they were just ‘having a laugh and a joke’.

One person said: ‘It was all Tottenham and just fun. Then suddenly two police come at us and suddenly it was bang, bang, they all came steaming in.

‘Smashing tables with their batons. They’re doing it just because they can. They are bang out of order.’

Tottenham supporter Harry Wade, 27, said: ‘I had an eight year old boy on my shoulders. It was his first away day and we were all having a nice time.’

However, Liverpool fans inside the bar disputed the story, claiming the other group had been shouting provocatively about Merseyside.

An employee at the Cafe and Tapas bar confirmed police had been called, but said officers acted ‘too heavily’.

There were also reports of a small skirmish between fans and police after a brawl in the Liverpool fan zone.

Thousands of the British fans in Madrid face the prospect of not being able to watch the final, as they vastly outnumber the 16,000 tickets available to both teams.

It means many will be left heading to the stadium still searching for a ticket, or will be forced to find a bar showing the game.

Graham Owen, from Chester, said he was one of the ‘lucky ones’ to get a ticket, which cost him 60 euros.

He said: ‘The allocation is way too low for a 70,000-odd seater stadium to have 16,000 tickets for each team. It doesn’t seem fair that I’ve got a ticket and my mate hasn’t.

‘I’m afraid it’s just money – there will be people at the game in the corporate seats who haven’t got a clue about the game or what’s going on and that’s wrong, to me.’

His friend, Rob Hurst, who has travelled without a ticket, said the amount tickets were trading for on the black market was ‘ridiculous’.

With additional reporting by Gerard Couzens and Peter Allen.

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