Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Linesman hit by smoke bomb

Police and stewards go into the away supporter's stand after a flare is thrown and hits assistant referee David Bryan
Police and stewards go into the away supporter's stand after a flare is thrown and hits assistant referee David Bryan
Assistant referee David Bryan after being struck by a flare
Assistant referee David Bryan on the touchline after being hit by a flare
Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen speaks with assistant referee David Bryan after the match official was struck by a flare

Two men have been arrested after a smoke bomb hit a linesman during a Premier League football match.

West Midlands Police said officers had detained the pair after what was initially thought to be a lit flare was thrown during the first half of play between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur today.

Footage of the incident clearly showed the missile arcing through the air trailing smoke after being thrown by somebody in the stands at Villa Park.

The smoke bomb hit assistant referee David Bryan on the back of the neck, causing him to stumble, however he was unhurt and continued on to the final whistle.

A police spokesman said: "Police have arrested two men after a lit flare was thrown on the pitch during the Villa v Spurs game - the flare hit a linesman.

"The two men aged 25 and 47 were arrested following the incident at Villa Park - fortunately the linesman wasn't injured."

However, the force later said that after further investigation the missile was found to be a smoke bomb.

West Midlands Police's football policing unit later added that separately a male Villa fan had also been detained during the match "for making an offensive salute".

"Another four were reported for offensive or threatening behaviour - no details on which fans."

Spurs clinched the fixture with a 2 - 0 away win, thanks to goals from Andros Townsend and Roberto Soldado.

The result sees them fifth in the table.

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