That’s what you call a flare up! Europa League clash suspended for 30 minutes after Northern Irish referee is hit with a missile from angry crowd
- A Europa League clash in Romania descended into chaos on Thursday night
- Honved of Hungary and Universitatea Craiova of Romania played second leg
- In final minute of injury time, a brawl broke out which sparked fan trouble
- Missiles, including smoke bombs, were launched on to the field of play
- Northern Irish referee Arnold Hunter, 40, was struck on the head by a lighter
- He left, but it was decided the final minute and penalties were to be played
A Europa league qualifying match was suspended for over half an hour after ugly scenes which saw a Northern Irish referee struck by missiles from the crowd.
The match between Hungarian side Honved and Romanian outfit Universitatea Craiova erupted into chaos when a mass melee broke out between players in the final minute of extra time and smoke bombs were launched from the stands.
The referee, Arnold Hunter, was hit by one object and needed urgent treatment on the field.
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A Northern Irish referee was hit in the head by a missile during a Europa League qualifier
A mass brawl erupted between players from Hungarian side Honved and Romanian outfit Universitatea Craiova during the final minute of extra time in the second leg of their tie
The score was locked at 0-0, the same result from the first leg between the two sides, when a flare was thrown on to the pitch just yards away from the referee.
Hunter, 40, was then believed to have been hit by a lighter from the crowd and was seen holding his head as he fell to the ground.
An ambulance rushed to his aid, but fortunately he was well enough not to require the vehicle to take him from the field.
It was reported by the game’s commentators that stadium chiefs feared that the fans would become more violent if the game was to be abandoned.
So, following the 30-minute delay and despite Honved manager Giuseppe Sannino appearing to demand that the game be pulled, the game continued.
A smoke bomb exploded just yards away from referee Arnold Hunter near the touchline
An ambulance drove on to the field to tend to his injuries as scenes turned ugly in Romania
All the referees, by this time, had retreated to the dressing room and, following the injuries sustained by Hunter, the fourth official was called upon to officiate the final minute. Neither side contested and allowed it to go to penalties.
Hosts Craiova came out eventual winners following the penalties, despite former Liverpool striker David N’Gog scoring his spot-kick for Honved in the 3-1 loss.
‘What was unacceptable to our club was what happened at the end of the meeting to put the referee or our players at risk,’ Honved said in a statement afterwards.