Soccer fans have known for some time that thousands of Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt fans meeting in Seville, Spain, for the Europa League final was going to cause trouble. The two wildly passionate fanbases were on a collision course in Spain that could only end in one way: violence.
Spain’s chief of police warned on Tuesday that shit was going to go down in the city of Seville for this Europa League final.
"It's too many people with too much alcohol, the majority without tickets for the game and lots of construction sites around the city, a recipe that could lead to serious problems," Juan Carlos Castro Estevez, Spain's General Commissioner for Citizen Security, said at a briefing.
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst urged traveling fans to be on their best behavior, but the message landed on some deaf ears as Rangers and Frankfurt fans had a massive brawl before the game outside a café.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Rangers Chair Fight
Somewhere in Seville an unfortunate café owner is collecting his shop’s chairs that were used as weapons during a brawl between Rangers and Frankfurt fans.
Some poor shop owner in Seville probably watched his chairs be used as dodgeballs today. pic.twitter.com/uwfOxQdQxZ— I Love Shakhtar Donetsk (@buffafalos) May 18, 2022
¡LAMENTABLE!Batalla campal entre aficionados del @Eintracht y del @RangersFC en las calles de Sevilla
¡No a la violencia en el deporte!
#PartidazoCOPE #UELfinal pic.twitter.com/VJi44tPGMS
— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) May 18, 2022
It’s unclear how the fighting started, but thankfully a bus driving through the street appeared to separate the two sets of fans.
Five German fans were arrested by Spanish police on Tuesday after a group of Frankfurt fans attacked Rangers supporters on the eve of the final.
It’s disappointing these scenes of violence between separate fanbases occur so often. There will undoubtedly be more fighting after the game; hopefully nothing too serious happens.
It’s amazing that cities are still willing to host big finals like this when the ugly side of the Beautiful Game will likely peek its ugly head at any given moment.