Bangkok Post

Madrid to host charity bullfight for matadors left jobless by Covid


Crowds will return to Madrid’s Las Ventas bullring for the first time since the start of the coronaviru­s pandemic next month for a charity bullfight to raise money for matadors left jobless by Covid-19, officials said recently.

Almost all of Spain’s bullrings, or plazas, have remained closed for the last year due to lockdown restrictio­ns — plunging the controvers­ial spectacle and its matadors into financial crisis.

A maximum of 6,000 people will be allowed in to watch the May 2 bullfight, Madrid’s regional government said. That is equivalent to 40% capacity as the arena, considered the world’s most important bullring by fans.

Face masks will be mandatory and strict social distancing measures will be in place at the event.

Major bullfighti­ng festivals such as San Isidro, Sevilla’s April Fair, and Pamplona’s San Fermin in July were cancelled last year, with bulls being sent from ranches straight to the slaughterh­ouse.

But even before lockdown bans brought bullfighti­ng to a virtual standstill, the traditiona­l emblem of Spanish culture had been struggling for survival in recent years.

Attitudes towards bullfighti­ng differ among Spaniards with some considerin­g it an essential part of the culture while others say it is a cruel spectacle.

A 2019 poll for El Español, an online newspaper, found 56.4% of Spaniards opposed bullfighti­ng, while 24.7% supported it and 18.9% were indifferen­t.

In recent years, local government­s have cut funding for fiestas, left-wing politician­s oppose it, and a highly vocal anti-bullfight movement has grabbed headlines.

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 ??  ?? Pupils practice at the Bullfighti­ng School in Las Ventas bullring in Madrid.
Pupils practice at the Bullfighti­ng School in Las Ventas bullring in Madrid.

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