Friday, 23 February 2018

Police officer dies after clash between rival supporters before the Europa League meeting between Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow (photos)

A battle between rival fans in Bilbao prior to yesterday Thursday night's Europa League meeting between Athletic and Spartak Moscow has led to the death of a police officer.
Supporters of the two clubs fought in the streets surrounding the Basque club's San Mames stadium, in the hours building up to their second leg meeting.
Athletic had emerged victorious in the first leg in Russia last week, running out 3-1 winners in Moscow, but there had been a number of warnings in the lead up to the return of potential trouble involving Russian Ultras.
Immediate reports from Spain declared five people were taken to the Basurto University hospital, before it was announced at 10pm local time that a member of the Ertzaintza - the Basque civilian police - had lost his life.
Hundreds of Russian fans are believed to have attempted to travel to Spain without tickets. It's understood some even attempted to breach no travel orders.
It's reported that a group of 200 Russian hooligans met at the Plaza Moyua at 6.30pm, before scuffles first broke out between rival fans some 90 minutes before kickoff.
The civilian police force responded quickly, however, fighting soon broke 
out in the Deusto district of Bilbao, as a large group of Russian hooligans charged groups of home fans.
Police attempted to intercept and restore peace however, one officer is understood to have suffered a cardiac arrest, and sadly passed away after being rushed to hospital where medics attempted to resuscitate him.
At least five arrests have been made thus far, according to reports in Bilbao.
The Bilbao police released a brief statement on social media declaring: "Our condolences to colleagues, friends and relatives of the Ertzaintza deceased in Act of service. Rest in peace. Goian Bego."
The match between the two sides went ahead as planned with Spartak running out 2-1 winners on the night, but with Athletic emerging victorious on Aggregate, 4-3.

Athletic also offered their condolences after the game and condemned the violence.
"Our heartfelt condolences to the family and companions of the deceased agent today. Athletic Club shows its strongest rejection of the violence generated around football."
See more photos below...