Police Officer Dies From Clashes Involving Fans Before UEL Game

epa06555015 Police officers detain a man during riots prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 32, second leg soccer match between Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow at San Mames stadium in Bilbao, Spain, 22 February 2018. EPA/LUIS TEJIDO

A riot police officer has become a casualty of violent clashes involving Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow fans.

The fight broke out in the streets before their UEFA Europa League (UEL) round of 32 second leg clash at the new San Mames on Thursday night.

The game ended 2-1 in favour of Spartak Moscow but their hosts qualify with a 4-3 aggregate win.

At least five people were detained after fireworks, flares and glasses were thrown between the two sets of supporters in Bilbao in violent scenes that led to many being hospitalised.

The aforementioned police officer took a blow to the face before suffering a cardiac arrest which led to his sudden death at the hospital.

A spokesman for the Basque police while speaking about the situation said: “We can confirm this death’ – but refused to add any further comment on the cause of death.”,

According to the police, the riot police officer died in hospital, where he had been taken following a heart attack when the regional Basque Country police force Ertzaintza was trying to deal with street battles between the fans of both clubs.

UEFA also released a statement on the incident. The statement said: “UEFA strongly condemns the violent clashes which occurred in Bilbao on Thursday night.

“We are in contact with local authorities to obtain further information on these incidents. UEFA sends its sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of the police officer who passed away.” the statement added.