Six football fans have been thrown off a flight to Portugal ahead of the Europa League final after the plane was forced to divert to France due to “disruptive behaviour”.
Authorities met five people on the tarmac at Nantes Atlantique airport after the Manchester to Faro service – containing mainly Rangers supporters – was brought into land when crew members raised concerns over the conduct of a “small group” of passengers.
One man had already been prevented from boarding the 4.25pm Ryanair flight prior to take off while a woman required medical attention when it arrived in the Algarve 75 minutes late.
It comes as thousands of fans of the Ibrox club flock to Seville – a two hour drive from Faro – ahead of the showpiece clash with German outfit Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.
Spanish police warned “many more than have tickets” are expected to make the trip to the city before the match at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
Others are expected to attend another stadium, La Cartuja, where a live stream of the game is to be broadcast on large screens.
A Ryanair spokesperson apologised to passengers for the delay, but confirmed the flight did arrive in Faro shortly after 10pm.
“A small number of disruptive passengers were removed from this Manchester to Faro flight on May 16,” they told STV News.
“One passenger was removed prior to departure, and following a diversion to Nantes, a further five disruptive passengers were removed and met by police on arrival.
“Separately, another passenger who required medical attention onboard quickly recovered, did not require further medical attention, and continued to Faro.”
They added: “Following a short delay of approx. 1hr15mins in Nantes, this flight continued to Faro where it landed safely at 10.04pm.
“Ryanair apologies sincerely to passengers for the inconvenience caused by this delay.”