The incident also raised fears over hooliganism at this summer's World Cup which will be hosted by Russia. "Football was invented to be enjoyed, for people to experience happiness or suffer with their teams," said Barcelona coach Valverde, formerly in charge in Bilbao. "But others use football as an excuse for other things, because football is seen by so many. It sullies football but it is not a problem for football, it is a wider problem. And of course we absolutely condemn that."
?️ Zidane: "We’re sorry for the death of the policeman in Bilbao. We don't like violence. It's a very bad thing. I hope these things don't go any further.”— Real Madrid Info (@RMadridInfo) February 23, 2018
"La Liga reiterates its strongest condemnation of the violence and continues to work to eradicate it from football," La Liga said in a statement. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy earlier offered his condolences for the death of the 51-year-old Basque police officer as he also "strongly condemned" the violence in the northern Spanish city. The officer was one of over 500 deployed to San Mames for the high-risk Europa League last-32 tie.
Zidane expresses condolences to the family of the police officer who died following Thursday's clash between supporters of Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow. pic.twitter.com/VmkfF6YzMq— RMadrid Edition (@RMadridEdition) February 23, 2018
He "suddenly felt ill during the serious incidents... despite being taken quickly to hospital, he suffered cardiac arrest," the Basque government's security department said in a statement, adding his death was not "directly" linked to an injury he suffered in the clashes. The trouble began as Spartak 'ultras' arrived at the stadium.
Zidane starts press conference pre Alaves with “We are very sorry for the death of this policeman in Bilbao, we think about his family, which is the most important."February 23, 2018
Some lit and threw smoke bombs and bins towards Athletic supporters, before police charged them. Police detained five Spaniards, three Russians and a Polish man over the clashes, a spokesperson for the Basque security department said. They face charges of causing public disorder, rioting and disrespect for authority. Five other police officers were injured, none of them seriously, and treated on the scene, the spokesperson added.
SHOCKING: The scenes from Moscow as Spartak Moscow and Athletic Bilbao fans clash in the streets and a Police officer was killed! pic.twitter.com/fFu242fSNx— Football Hub (@FootbalIhub) February 22, 2018
Russian authorities will be on high alert this summer for the World Cup after Russian fans were involved in pitched battles with England supporters in Marseille during Euro 2016. Spartak won Thursday's match 2-1, but Athletic went through 4-3 on aggregate. They will face Marseille in the next round in March, but Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid have been drawn against another Russian club in Lokomotiv Moscow.
Riot police officer dies after Spartak Moscow and Athletic Bilbao fans clash with fireworks shot in street in violent scenes before Europa League tie https://t.co/Le2AEyklLX pic.twitter.com/G1psEkPm0a— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) February 22, 2018
Police officer dies as Russian ultras spark street battles with Spanish fans in Bilbaohttps://t.co/t1WoAOITFy— The Daily Record (@Daily_Record) February 22, 2018