Fireworks Used In Violent Scenes Between Bilbao & Spartak Ultras

A riot police officer has died after violent clashes broke out between fans in Bilbao

A member of the Erzaintza (Basque Regional Police Force) was confirmed to have died during incidents provoked by supporters of Russia's Spartak Moscow before Europa League game against Athletic Club Bilbao on Thursday night.

Despite all of the pre-match precautions, rivals fans from Spartak Moscow and Athletic Club staged a pitched battle in the areas close to San Mam├ęs.

Authorities said a police officer died in hospital after the confrontations.

Spanish journal As, states that a Basque civilian policeman, who was working for Ertzaintza, suffered a heart attack during fierce fighting in the city and was pronounced dead at 22:00 local time.

The fighting spread onto the streets near the stadium and police struggled to restore order.

Six years ago a fan died in Bilbao in clashes after a match between Athletic and German club Schalke.

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At least five people were arrested after fireworks, flares and glasses were thrown between supporters in Bilbao in violent scenes that hospitalised several others.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy offered his condolences and condemned the violence on his official Twitter account.

More than 500 police officers were deployed ahead of the game to try to prevent fan trouble.

Earlier in the evening, police made a number of arrests as the violence and injuries escalated.

There had been anxiousness in the days leading up to the second leg with reports that as many as 2,100 Spartak Moscow fans were due to travel to Bilbao to support their team.

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