A police officer has died of a heart attack after attempting to quell a riot which broke out around an hour before the Europa League clash between Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow on Thursday night.
Frenzy erupted outside the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao.
It was reported that a section of Russian fans had attempted to spark violence near the regional television headquarters before it was averted by police.
Marca have also released further details on the events, stating that the police officer suffered the heart attack during an altercation.
El estadio San Mamés en estos mismos instantes tomado por la @ertzaintzaEJGV
— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) February 22, 2018
Our condolences to colleagues, friends and relatives of the Ertzainza [force officer] who died in an act of service,” Bilbao police wrote on Twitter. The identity of the officer was not immediately disclosed.
Athletic added a statement of their own, saying: “Our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the deceased officer today. Athletic Club express their strongest rejection of violence generated around football.”
The game went on despite the violence, with Spartak winning the second leg 2-1, but Athletic Bilbao advancing to the round of 16, 4-3 on aggregate.
At his postmatch news conference, Athletic coach Jose Angel Ziganda said: “We didn’t know anything. We found out at the end of the game. I don’t know if would have been better or worse to suspend the match.”