The first serious incident of tonight's Europa League Final in Seville happened last night with Spanish police arresting five Eintracht Frankfurt supporters, after an altercation with Rangers fans ahead.
The ugly scenes happened around midnight in front of the Seville Cathedral , where around 200 German fans attacked the Rangers faithful. The police had to react quickly to defuse the situation and stop the Rangers fans from retaliating.
Spain's National Police said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The incident took place around midnight in front of Seville Cathedral and the troops of the Police Intervention Units had to intervene quickly to stop the Eintracht Frankfurt fans who were assaulting supporters of Glasgow Rangers."
Eintracht Frankfurt supporters can be seen launching flares, tables, glasses and other projectiles into the direction of Rangers fans and the police before fleeing.
Peleas, lanzamiento de objetos, destrozo del patrimonio, botellones en pleno Ayuntamiento… No quiero ser alarmista, pero 5.500 agentes tienen difícil controlar a los 150.000 aficionados que se esperan. La permisividad y falta de previsión del alcalde nos pueden salir muy caros. pic.twitter.com/3hUtOlpgGY
— José Luis Sanz 🇺🇦 (@jlsanzalcalde) May 18, 2022
It's an ominous note ahead of tonight's Europa League Final.
The police set up lines and barricades with their vehicles to try and bring a halt to the attacks, but they did have to discharge rounds of ammunition to maintain order.
ABCdesevilla are reporting that there are no serious injuries following the encounter, but one Rangers supporter did suffer a concussion.
Fans can be seen fighting in the video below while police drive by. The group start throwing punches and chairs at each other before eventually going their separate ways.
@EmergenciasSev @antoniomunozsev @Ayto_Sevilla esto es turismo de calidad en sevilla, Si eso es esta noche como será mañana cuando uno de los dos pierda? Prepárense sevillanos para mañana. pic.twitter.com/9Kcw217tXh
— Trianero (@TRIANERODEPRO) May 18, 2022
With over 100,000 Rangers fans and 50,000 Eintracht Frankfurt fans expected to arrive in Seville before the Europa League Final, there will almost certainly be more of these scenes happening over the next day.
Anxieties around policing tonight's match
It comes as no surprise to the Spanish police, who had expected the Europa League Final to be "the most complicated game in recent years" as stated by Police Commissioner Juan Carlos Castro.
Police in the area also drafted in thousands of constabularies from Madrid and Qatar to try and maintain peace around the city as well as organising designated fan zones across Seville.
The police are no strangers to these Eintracht Frankfurt supporters, following their clashes with West Ham fans in March during their last of 16 game with Real Betis.
West Ham supporters were also in Seville at the time, as they were playing Sevilla in the same round.
With the Europa League Final starting at 8pm tonight, police will almost certainly have a busy and long night ahead, regardless of the result.