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Real Madrid Game Evacuated Due to Bomb Scare


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Saw the video footage on BBC news. Pretty orderly evacuation.

Real Madrid stadium evacuated after bomb scare

More than 70,000 people were evacuated from Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium this morning (Australian time) after a bomb scare, club sources confirmed.

The alert came after an anonymous caller to the Basque newspaper Gara claimed a bomb had been planted in the stadium which was hosting a Primera Liga game between Real Madrid and Basque side Real Sociedad, and would explode at 9:00pm local time.

Police informed the referee just a minute before the game was due to finish with the score at 1-1. The players returned to their locker rooms and spectators were allowed to exit by the pitch. The stands were cleared at 8:50pm.

Madrid midfielder Guti told Spanish radio: "I have never seen this before and sport should be above it all."

Police later declared the stadium to be safe, saying no explosives had been found despite thorough searches by sniffer dogs.

Players and pitch officials returned to take their showers and Madrid officials were able to come back into their offices.

Earlier in the day two makeshift bombs went off outside two businesses in Spain's Basque country, injuring no one but causing material damage.

Regional authorities blamed the explosions on the armed Basque separatist movement ETA, which has claimed responsibility for a string of low-intensity blasts around Spain that left five people slightly injured earlier this month.

On May 1 2002, just before a semi-final Champions League fixture, an ETA bomb exploded in a car beside the stadium, injuring 17 people.

And in November information was discovered by police that the venue was a possible target for islamic extremists. In March, bombs placed by them exploded in trains in the Madrid suburbs killing 191 and injuring 1,900.

Real match abandoned after bomb threat, Valencia win

Real Madrid's Primera Liga match against Real Sociedad was abandoned this morning (Australian time) after a bomb threat, with the score level at 1-1.

Close to 70,000 fans, together with players and officials from both clubs, evacuated the Bernabeu stadium after play was halted shortly before full time.

The decision to evacuate was taken after Basque newspaper Gara had received the warning phone call in the name of the Basque separatist group ETA.

Police searched the stadium with sniffer dogs and later said no explosive device had been found in the vicinity of the stadium.

"The police have said they have completed their search and have not found anything," Real Madrid president Florentino Perez told reporters.

"The best thing we can all do now is to put this nightmare behind us."

Household names including David Beckham, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Michael Owen were all on the pitch at the time the match against the Basque side was abandoned with three minutes left on the clock.

ETA has targeted the Bernabeu stadium before.

In May 2002, an ETA car bomb exploded nearby hours before a European Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Barcelona and 17 people were treated for shock or slight injuries.

ETA had warned of that attack in a call to Gara.

On Sunday Real took the lead just before the break when Brazilian striker Ronaldo cracked home with his left foot after controlling a Michel Salgado cross with his chest.

Sociedad levelled the match midway through the second half when Turkish striker Nihat Kahveci smashed home with an acrobatic finish.

It is not yet clear if the remaining three minutes of the game will be played at a later date or if the result will be allowed to stand.

If the result remains at 1-1, Real will have dropped to third place in the standings, 11 points behind leaders Barcelona, who snatched a late 2-1 win at Albacete on Saturday.

Sociedad, who beat Real 4-1 at the end of last season, dominated the first half at the Bernabeu, but they sparked into life on the half hour.

Ronaldo looked certain to score when Sociedad keeper Asier Riesgo found himself stranded outside his area after he raced to clear the ball, but the Brazilian rushed his shot and fired the ball over the bar.

He made no mistake, though, when he was given another chance two minutes later after Salgado had clipped a fine cross into the heart of the area.

Controlling the ball with his chest he took a step back as the ball dropped and then fired home with his left foot.

Real had several good chances to extend their lead at the start of the second half, Zinedine Zidane forcing a fine save from Asier Riesgo when he shot on the half-volley and Beckham going close with a free kick.

But it was Sociedad who found the net midway through the half when striker Darko Kovacevic nodded the ball down to Nihat who smashed home with a spectacular right-foot finish.

Valencia run continues

Earlier Valencia had put their European woes behind them to notch their fourth Primera Liga win in a row with a 1-0 victory at home to basement side Numancia.

Centre-half Carlos Marchena scored the winner on 21 minutes when he headed in from point-blank range at the far post after Numancia keeper had palmed a Vicente free kick off the line.

The win put Claudio Ranieri's side - who exited the Champions League midweek - into provisional second spot in the table, 10 points behind Barca.

Deportivo Coruna, who departed the Champions League group phase without scoring a goal after their 5-0 defeat against Monaco on Wednesday, were only able to manage a 2-2 draw at home to Sevilla, a result that left them in eighth place in the table.

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Real Madrid to finish game on January 5 after bomb scare

MADRID, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Real Madrid will play the final seven minutes of their league match against Real Sociedad on January 5 after a bomb threat forced the evacuation of their Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Sunday.

About 70,000 people poured out of Real's stadium in central Madrid with the match level at 1-1 after Basque newspaper Gara received a warning from a caller claiming to represent ETA who said there was a bomb in the ground.

Representatives of Madrid and Real Sociedad, a side from the Basque city of San Sebastian, agreed at a meeting at the Spanish Football Federation on Monday to play the remainder of the match at 6.00 pm on January 5.

Ticket holders from the original match will be able to watch the seven remaining minutes of play, including four minutes of injury time.

If the result is 1-1, Madrid would drop to fourth in the Primera Liga, 11 points behind leaders Barcelona.

It was the first time a Spanish stadium had been evacuated because of an ETA bomb threat, Spanish state radio said. ETA targeted the Bernabeu in May 2002 when a car bomb exploded nearby hours before a European Champions League semi-final and 17 people were treated for shock or slight injuries.

Recent weeks have seen a resurgence of activity by ETA, Western Europe's most active guerrilla force which has killed some 850 people since 1968 in a campaign for an independent Basque homeland straddling the border between France and Spain.

Police with sniffer dogs searched the stadium on Sunday and found no bomb.

Real Madrid's team, including England captain David Beckham and Brazilian striker Ronaldo, were left standing around in the street in their soccer kit after the bomb scare. Hundreds of fans streamed across the pitch on their way to the exits. Tourists and fans took advantage of the opportunity for a photograph between the famous stadium's goalposts.

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