Sweden’s Madrid qualifier deemed ‘high risk’

Sweden's Euro 2008 qualifier against Spain in Madrid on Saturday has been deemed a "high risk" match due to the expected arrival of some 6,000 Swedish fans and plans for several political protests in the Spanish capital.

The decision was made on Wednesday during a meeting of the National Commission against Violence in Sports, the commission said in a statement.

Several demonstrations are scheduled for the weekend and the following days in Madrid to coincide with the anniversary of the death on November 20th,1975, of Spain’s right-wing dictator Francisco Franco.

The date also marks the anniversary of his ideological mentor Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera in 1936 and it is traditionally used as a rallying point for small numbers of people who are nostalgic for Franco’s fascist regime.

Primo de Rivera founded the Falange, the political movement associated with the Franco regime.

A 16-year-old boy was fatally stabbed during clashes on Sunday between leftists and neo-Nazis at a metro station in the Spanish capital.

Sweden are top of Group F and require just a point from their two remaining games to book a place at next year’s tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

They will face Latvia on November 21.