Northern Irish ref Arnold Hunter hit by flare and lighter in shocking scenes during Europa League clash between Craiova and Honved



Posted Friday, August 02, 2019 by Thesun.co.uk

A EUROPA LEAGUE tie in Romania descended into CHAOS on Thursday night when the referee was hit by missiles from the crowd.

Northern Irish official Arnold Hunter was in charge of the game between Craiova and Honved when a ferocious atmosphere spilled over at the end of extra-time.

Northern Irish ref Arnold Hunter hit by flare and lighter in shocking scenes during Europa League clash between Craiova and Honved
Hunter appeared hurt after a flare exploded behind him

Northern Irish ref Arnold Hunter hit by flare and lighter in shocking scenes during Europa League clash between Craiova and Honved
He collapsed and required medical attention

With the score 0-0, as it was in the first leg, a flare was thrown onto the pitch and exploded near Hunter.

Within moments a lighter struck the 40-year-old official's head, requiring medical treatment and an ambulance to come onto the field.

However, he was not taken away in the vehicle and walked off amid lengthy discussions over how to deal with the escalating scenes.

Local commentators reported stadium officials' fears that fans would erupt into even greater violence if the game was to be abandoned.

Delegates' deliberations lasted over half an hour, during which time Honved manager Giuseppe Sannino appeared to demand the tie be called off.

By this time, the referees had retreated into their dressing room.

Finally, after 35 minutes of attempting to calm the situation, the fourth official was brought out to oversee the one minute of stoppage time still due to be played.

Stunned, neither team contested the final moments and the game went to penalties.

In the shootout, in which former Liverpool striker David N'gog scored for Honved, home side Craiova came out victorious with a 3-1 scoreline.

The game, between southern Romanian team Craiova and Honved, of neighbouring Hungary's capital Budapest, had been dogged by violence among ultras.

Reports suggest rivals fans clashed the night before the match and the furious atmosphere was carried into the stadium.

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