Clashes break out before Europea League final in Seville

Sports

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers fans clashed on the streets of Sevilla a few hours before the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Several hundred Frankfurt fans were seen attacking a few dozen Rangers supporters outside a bar on the streets of the southern Spanish city hosting the final of the second-tier European competition. The fans threw chairs and tables at each other, and a couple of Rangers fans were seen collapsing after being beaten.

Some Frankfurt fans had their faces covered as they confronted the Scottish supporters. The confrontation ended after police officers arrived and the German supporters fled.

There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.

The confrontation came after five Frankfurt fans were detained following a separate clash between supporters from both clubs and police at about midnight in the center of the city.

Police said the Frankfurt supporters threw bricks and tables from bars, and fired flares at Rangers fans and at police officers.

More than 5,000 security personnel are on alert in the southern Spanish city as up to 150,000 fans arrived for the final. Most were without tickets for the match at the 43,000-capacity Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium.

Only about 10,000 tickets were allocated to the clubs directly. Scalpers were selling tickets for as much as 1,000 euros ($1,050) outside the Sevilla stadium.

Several thousand officers were outside the venue to monitor the fans’ entrance, which happened without major incidents.

Frankfurt fans had already caused problems in the city ahead of the team’s game against Seville club Real Betis in the round of 16.

“We hope there are not a lot of these incidents,” Seville mayor Antonio Muñoz said Wednesday morning. “It’s a price we have to pay to be able to host this wonderful event which the entire world is watching.”

Both clubs are trying to end a decades-long title drought in European soccer. Rangers hasn’t won a European trophy in 50 years, while Frankfurt’s last continental title came more than 40 years ago.

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