Fights broke out between rival groups of football fans on Wednesday night in the city of Seville ahead of West Ham’s Europa League Round of 16 against Sevilla on Thursday.
There were ugly scenes on the streets of the Spanish city of Seville ahead of West Ham’s Europa League draw on Thursday night.
The Hammers are due to take on Sevilla in the Europa League Round of 16 on Thursday, with thousands of fans making the journey to the Andalusian capital from east London.
Two groups of supporters, reported by Spanish radio station Cadena Cope as supporters of West Ham and Eintracht Frankfurt, clashed in the streets of the city on Wednesday night.
Frankfurt fans had seen their side triumph 2-1 at Real Betis – city rivals Sevilla – earlier on Wednesday, with the two matches taking place on different days due to UEFA rules regarding matches in the same city.
Video footage shows two groups of fans staging an ongoing battle in the street with glass bottles, sticks, bar seats and tables tossed amid the chaos.
The incident appears to have taken place outside an Irish bar in the city, where a large group of fans had gathered and were drinking during the evening.
Video footage captures a set of rival fans approaching the bar in a coordinated attack, before launching a series of missiles and objects, which then retaliated.
A report by Spanish TV channel La Sexta claims that ‘there are moments of great tension’ at the scene and claimed that ‘there are injuries’ among those present.
The incident is believed to have taken place in the streets surrounding the city’s Paseo Colon – a central area of Seville which is home to an Irish bar and is close to the city’s main bus station and next to the famous bullring.
West Ham won their Europa League group stage earlier this season to automatically qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.
They will face competition record holder Sevilla, who have won the Europa League six times – most recently in 2020 when they beat Inter in the final.
Speaking ahead of the game, West Ham boss David Moyes said: “I think that’s where the players should be. The squad we have is capable. There are times this season when few no matter who we play against, we will get a win. I see this as a great game for us.
“Sevilla have a very good history in the competition. It’s two legs – we’ve got this one and we’re looking forward to the London stadium next week. You want to play in Europe. It’s the elite against whom challenge.”
The city of Sevilla will also host this season’s Europa League final in May – with Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjuan stadium as the venue.