Sunday 22 July 2018

Police officer who died in football match collapse ‘was not in confrontation’

Fighting took place ahead of the Europa League match between Athletic Bilbao and Russian club Spartak Moscow.

Basque riot police clash with followers of Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow (AP)
Basque riot police clash with followers of Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow (AP)

By Tales Azzoni

A riot police officer who died during crowd trouble before a Europa League football match in Spain collapsed on his own and was not involved in a direct confrontation with fans, authorities said.

Basque Country officials said doctors dismissed the possibility the cardiac arrest suffered by the officer was caused by any type of trauma sustained in the fighting that took place ahead of the tie between Athletic Bilbao and Russian club Spartak Moscow on Thursday.

There had been conflicting reports about what caused the officer’s death, with some saying he might have been involved in a struggle with fans or was hit by one of the many objects being thrown around during the altercation.

Police said on Friday five people remained detained — three Russian nationals and two Spaniards.

Bilbao lost the match 2-1 on the night, but progressed at the Russians’ expense 4-3 on aggregate.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News