Spanish police to deploy anti-drone system ahead of final

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MADRID (AP) — Spanish police will use an anti-drone system ahead of Saturday's Champions League final in Madrid.

Authorities said Friday the system is aimed at detecting drone activity near the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, which will host the final between Liverpool and Tottenham. The command center for the anti-drone system will be based just outside the 68,000-capacity stadium.

The system includes "neutralizing" actions that will be used if illegal drones are detected in the area.

Police will also use a drone to monitor fan activity near the Metropolitano on Saturday. The drone will carry two cameras, a thermal one and another with a wide-angle lens. Authorities said it will be the first time they will use a monitoring drone in these types of events.

Spanish officials are deploying unprecedented security measures for the final, which has been declared a "high risk" match. More than 4,700 security personnel from several security areas will be involved in the operation.

Authorities expect tens of thousands of English fans in the Spanish capital, including many without tickets or lodging.

Madrid last hosted the Champions League final in 2010, when Inter Milan defeated Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. It also hosted the Copa Libertadores in December, which also was declared a high-risk event.

The South American club final was played at the Bernabeu after being moved from Argentina because of fan violence. It prompted heavy security measures because of the presence of many rival Argentine fan groups in Madrid, though no major problems were reported.

Police said Friday a drone was detected during the final in December, as a user tried to take photos from above the Bernabeu.


Spanish police said they have detained six people and seized 2,000 fake Champions League products that were going to be sold in Madrid ahead of the final.

Police said the ring used a bar near the Bernabeu as its operational and distribution center. The products were imported from Portugal by a Spanish company.

Authorities said 16,000 fake products worth 14,000 euros ($15,500) were seized in Portugal after cooperation with Portuguese police.

The products seized in Spain included fake UEFA logos and brands related to Spanish clubs. They were distributed to street vendors and souvenir stores throughout the Spanish capital.


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