In a trend that has become all too popular in European football, pitch invaders caused a delay in Tottenham’s midweek match
In a Europa League match at home against Partizan Belgrade, multiple fans stormed the pitch towards the end of the first half, causing referee Yevhen Aranovskiy to briefly suspend the match as players were ushered into the locker rooms in the 41st minute.
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UEFA has scheduled a disciplinary hearing for December 11th to discuss possible fines or sanctions for Tottenham following the disruption at White Hart Lane.
Three separate incidents occurred in the first half in an organized act, as all three pitch invaders wore shirts promoting a headphone manufacturer.
Roberto Soldado and Moussa Dembele both used force to stop the invaders, but will not face individual charges from UEFA.
Tottenham’s 1-0 victory propelled them to the knockout rounds of the Europa League, but their win was overshadowed by their fans’ actions. The club posted a short statement following the match on their official website.
Three pitch invaders at tonight’s match have been arrested and are as siting police with their enquiries. We shall provide an update as soon as we have established the full facts. We apologise to fans for the disruptions caused by this totally unacceptable behavior.”
For UEFA, the most pressing issue in these cases is player safety. While they are actively looking into these events, punishing clubs will do little to stop fans from continuing to act this way.
FC Basel was also charged after their Champions League match against Real Madrid was delayed due to fans on the pitch.