WATCH: Huge brawl between Spanish football hooligans during anti-Catalan independence rally in Barcelona

The event was sparked by rival football supporters

Plaza Catalunya was the scene of chaos this afternoon

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A group of rival football fans staged a huge brawl in Barcelona this afternoon - during a demonstration which was supposed to be all about unity.

A large mob of people gathered in Barcelona to protest Catalonia's imminent independence declaration and unite beneath the flag of Spain. However the event soon descended into a brawl between rival 'ultras' - hard-line football fans who regularly fight with rival supporters.

The fans are believed to belong to three rival groups: 'Yomus', who support Valencia, 'Frente Atlético', who support Atletico Madrid, and a group simply called 'Hooligans' who support Sabadell, a small club near Barcelona.

The fighting, which took place in Plaza Catalunya, saw tables and chairs flying through the air and forced the popular Bar Zurich to close.

Footage of the incident shows rioters carrying Spanish as well as Catalan flags hurling projectiles at one another, before police in riot gear arrive on the scene to defuse the situation and push the combatants apart.

Spanish sports newspaper Marca claims no-one has yet been arrested, "although the Mossos d'Esquadra [Barcelona's local police force] have already identified some of those involved in the fight."

The unity demonstration was convened two days after Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont announced he was seeking talks with Madrid with a view to securing full independence - sparking fury and despair in much of Spain.

The Spanish government has said it views the independence push as illegal and will not even countenance the idea of Catalan secession.

You can watch footage of the brawl by clicking below.