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Police officer dies after clashes between Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow fans

Omnisport
NEWS
223   //    23 Feb 2018, 03:49 IST
san mames - cropped
Athletic Bilbao's San Mames stadium

An officer has died after clashes between Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow fans in the Spanish city, the country's national police service has confirmed.

The National Police Corps issued a statement via Twitter on Thursday, in which they offered their condolences to the family of an officer from the Ertzaintza, the regional force of the Basque country.

"A hug and all our affection to the family and colleagues of the Ertzaintza agent who passed away in #AthleticSpartak incidents at San Mames," the tweet said.

"NO to violence, aggression and barbarity in sport."

According to widespread reports in Spain, the individual died after suffering cardiac arrest following violence between rival fan groups ahead of Thursday's Europa League meeting at San Mames.

It is said he was taken to Basurto University hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 22:00 local time.

Television footage has shown groups of supporters throwing objects at each other and police outside the stadium before kick-off, after earlier scuffles reportedly saw three Russian fans and one police officer taken to hospital with injuries.

At least five people have been arrested for public disorder offences, according to AS.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas said greater restrictions should have been imposed on who was allowed to travel to the northern city for the match.

"This is madness, something very serious," he said, as quoted by AS. "You have to be forceful against ultra [hooligan] violence, you can't give in and everything must be done to eradicate it once and for all.

"The Russian ultras should not have travelled to Bilbao. They should have avoided it. The worst has happened, because a life has been lost, which is something irreparable."

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