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Spanish clubs' games go ahead

UEFA Cup matches involving teams from Spain will go ahead in the wake of the Madrid bombings.

Tonight's UEFA Cup fourth round first-leg matches involving Spanish teams will go ahead as scheduled in the wake of this morning's bomb attacks in Madrid.

Black armbands
UEFA said that players in the matches featuring the four Spanish clubs would wear black armbands, and that a minute's silence would be observed before the games as a mark of respect for the victims of the bomb attacks.

Four clubs
RCD Mallorca are away to Newcastle United FC in England, FC Barcelona travel to Celtic FC in Scotland, and Valencia CF play in Turkey against Gençlerbirligi SK. The fourth Spanish team, Villareal CF, are at home to AS Roma.

UEFA statement
A UEFA statement said: "UEFA has today confirmed that all of the UEFA Cup fourth round first-leg matches scheduled for tonight will go ahead as planned.

Close contact
"Following the news of the tragic events that unfolded this morning in Madrid, UEFA has been in close contact with the Spanish Football Association regarding the matches of the Spanish teams involved in the competition. After consultations with the Spanish government via the Spanish FA, UEFA concluded that the matches involving Spanish clubs should go ahead as originally scheduled.

Four matches
"The matches played tonight involving the Spanish teams will start with a minute of silence in respect of the victims of the bombings and the players will wear black armbands."

'Tragic events'
UEFA Chief Executive Lars-Christer Olsson said: "The events of this morning are tragic and shocking, and on behalf of UEFA I would like to offer our sincere condolences to all those individuals and families involved. Our thoughts and hearts are with the victims of these dreadful attacks at this time.

Fair play and respect
"By playing the games tonight under these difficult circumstances, we hope to show to the world the true spirit of fair play and respect in football."