A DRONE stops play in Athletic Bilbao’s clash against Eibar after falling on to the pitch at San Mames – with device ‘carrying banner opposing the city hosting Euro 2020 fixtures’
- Athletic Bilbao played out a 1-1 draw with struggling Eibar in LaLiga on Saturday
- The game was bizarrely brought to a brief halt due to a drone falling from the sky
- Referee Valentin Pizarro stopped play while removing the device from the field
- The drone reportedly held a message protesting Bilbao hosting Euro 2020 ties
A drone falling on to the pitch bizarrely saw Athletic Bilbao’s fixture against Eibar temporarily halted this weekend.
The device dropped to the ground inside San Mames, forcing referee Valentin Pizarro to call a stop to proceedings after 68 minutes while he removed it.
With the players watching on in clear confusion, the pitch was quickly cleared and the LaLiga game restarted.
A drone falling on the pitch at San Mames saw Athletic Bilbao’s clash with Eibar briefly halted
It is believed that there was a message attached to the drone protesting Bilbao’s status as a host city for this summer’s European Championships.
The port location is one of 12 major cities selected to hold ties at the rescheduled knockout bonanza – and will play host to all of Spain’s group stage matches.
The occasion will mark the first team that the country’s national team has played in Basque Country since 1967.
Referee Valentin Pizarro looked bemused while picking up the device before restarting play
Marcelino cut a frustrated figure with his Bilbao team having to settle for a share of the spoils
As such, the move has been met with opposition from some parties and groups, who are keen for their international stars to avoid playing in the autonomous region.
Despite the disruption, Pizzaro made no mention of the banner in his match report – and the official looked equally as bemused as the players when picking the drone up.
It is currently unclear whether the drone was landed on the pitch intentionally.
Kike (second from left) fired Eibar level after pouncing on Unai Lopez’s sloppy work to bend in
The fixture ended in a 1-1 draw, with both goals taking place in the first 20 minutes.
Yuri Berchiche netted the opener on nine minutes with a thumping volley from Oscar de Marcos’ inviting delivery into the penalty area.
Eibar grabbed a share of the spoils soon after, however, after Unai Lopez squandered possession on the edge of the box to allow Kike to bend home a wonderful effort.
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