Policeman dies in Bilbao after clashes with Spartak fans

Policeman dies in Bilbao after clashes with Spartak fans

Policeman dies in Bilbao after clashes with Spartak fans

A Spanish police officer has died after security forces clashed with fans of the Russian soccer club Spartak Moscow in the Spanish city of Bilbao, which was hosting a Europa League match.

There were reports of other minor clashes involving Russian fans who traveled to Bilbao to attend the match. When you witness scenes like the ones in the clip above you understand why authorities were so wary.

"Garcia had collapsed during the intervention that took place when police confronted fans of both teams in the esplanade of the San Mames Stadium, and moments later, there was a flare thrown by a Russian fan close to him", RFEF, the Spanish football federation, said on Friday.

"I wanted to go to San Mam-s Stadium on the safest street, Alamedo Urquijo, and I ran into a pitched battle all-against-all without police".

After the game, Athletic tweeted: "Our deepest condolences to the family and companions of the deceased agent today". At least five people have been arrested by the police after the incident.

After the game, Athletic Club tweeted their condolences.

Russian President Vladimir Putin only wondered dismissively at the time "how 200 of our fans could beat up several thousand English". UEFA sends its honest condolences to the family and colleagues of the police officer who passed away'.

The deadly clashes in Bilbao raise concerns over football violence four months before Russian Federation is due to host the World Cup.

The mayor of Bilbao has asked UEFA to investigate the incident and take punitive measures, after the union "strongly condemned" the violence.

Before the game, Spartak Moscow had warned fans to behave while in Spain.

Earlier Thursday, German police arrested a Russian suspected of the "attempted murder" of a British football fan during the European Championship in France two years ago.

Bilbao won 3-1 in the first leg in Russia last week, but the Russian side claimed a 2-1 victory in the return leg though were knocked out of Europe's second-tier competition on a 4-3 aggregate.

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