Authorities in Macedonia say more than 2,000 police officers will be on duty for Tuesday’s Super Cup soccer match between Real Madrid and Manchester United, amid a heatwave in the Balkan country.
Hours before Manchester United and Real Madrid met at the Philip II Arena in Skopje on Tuesday, thousands of fans of the clubs — many from neither England nor Spain — gathered in the Macedonian capital in a festive atmosphere despite heatwave temperatures of 38 degrees (100 F).
City authorities set up three fan zones, one for each team plus an area for neutrals, where fans posed with UEFA trophies, lined up to fire penalty shots into a miniature goal, and dodged or danced through spurts of water from a grid fountain in the city’s main square.
There were multiple road closures and even a limit imposed on the size of flags fans could carry into the stadium.
Tiny Macedonia, with a struggling economy and having recently emerged from months of political crisis, hoped to persuade visitors to turn their stay into a holiday, and issued promotional videos for the city in English.
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