Real Sociedad chairman Jokin Aperribay has threatened to pursue a lawsuit against Benfica supporters following the troubling incidents during their Champions League clash on Wednesday night.
Benfica president Rui Costa has formally apologised to his Sociedad counterpart.
The Reale Arena witnessed chaos inside and outside its walls as visiting Benfica supporters hurled flares at home fans during the match.
Approximately 50 ultras clashed in the streets before kick-off, launching fireworks and sticks. The clashes resulted in ten people requiring medical attention, and authorities have made four arrests in connection with the incidents.
Aperribay is determined to pursue legal action against those involved.
“We will pursue them legally,” he said (via the Guardian). If these delinquents have to go to jail, they will go.”
Referee Anthony Taylor had to pause the game as fireworks landed on the pitch and flares descended onto the home supporters below.
Television and security footage captured the events and led to the identification of some of the individuals involved.
Of the first four arrests, three were Portuguese, while one was from Spain.
Despite the arrests, Sociedad claimed the local culprit was not a club member.
Benfica anticipated the unruly actions and had appealed for good behaviour from their supporters before the game.
They released a statement expressing regret. “Despite the calls over the last few days for there to be no incidents, that did not happen, and we have to apologise for this episode,” they said (via their official website).
Aperribay urged Sociedad supporters not to generalise, highlighting that the incidents were caused by a handful of troublemakers.
The challenge now lies in ensuring that such behaviour is not repeated, with both clubs committed to collaborating with authorities to address the issues.
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