One of the things I’ve learned most about in my years running a comedy sports blog is how ready soccer fans are to throw exploding things at people on a soccer field. We’ve already reported on multiple instances of bombs being thrown onto the pitch, firecrackers being hurled at injured players and terrifying, impromptu walls of fire, so it is notable yet not-especially-surprising to reporter that soccer fans hit a referee in the back of the neck with a flare at a Tottenham Hotspur game.
Here’s the toss:
It seems important to note that a flare can burn at something like 2,000 degrees — if you’ve ever seen the film Killing Me Softly you’ll know how easy it is to kill someone with one — so being hit in the neck by one, especially by surprise, ESPECIALLY when you’re supposed to be reffing a f*cking soccer game, is not cool.
The good news per The Telegraph is that two men have been arrested for the toss. Sadly they were just a-holes in the stands, and not two guys with weird aim lost on a life raft somewhere.
The flare was hurled from the corner of the Doug Ellis Stand where the Spurs supporters were sat and hit Bryan on the neck. West Midlands Police later confirmed that two men aged 25 and 47 had been arrested.
[Assistant referee David] Bryan was able to continue without treatment and Tottenham defender Michael Dawson even admitted that later the linesman had been “laughing and joking” about the incident, which happened seconds after Andros Townsend scored in the 31st minute.
… ndre Villas-Boas, the Spurs head coach, said: “It’s not great to see and it should be avoided completely. It touched the linesman from what I could see and situations like this do not have a place in football. I sincerely hope that it doesn’t happen again.”
“I hope nobody throws flares at our referees again” has got to be the least necessary soccer PSA since Liverpool had to send out a memo to tell its employees not to call each other homos.