Europa League game between Malmo and Union Berlin descends into CHAOS as firework explodes by the side of the pitch and fans throw flares… with players taken off for 20 minutes as riot police restored order
- A firework exploded within feet of fans and stewards at Europa League game
- Play was suspended for 20 minutes after both sets of fans threw flares
- Riot police were called in to restore order in the stands at the Eleda Stadium
- Union Berlin went on to win the match to pick up their first points in the group
The Europa League game between Malmo and Union Berlin descended into chaos as both sets of fans lobbed flares before an explosion took place by the side of the pitch.
Play at the Eleda Stadium was suspended for 20 minutes shortly after the second-half started with the players led to safety and riot police wading in.
Flares and fireworks were thrown by both Malmo and Union fans from opposite ends of the stadium. A larger firework then went off close to where security personnel were standing in front of the Union support.
Television footage showed a lit flare arcing through the air and landing on the pitch while the match was still going on. After play was stopped, further flares were thrown.
The official Union Berlin Twitter account posted: ‘Bangers. Rockets onto the pitch from the Union end. The players taken off. They mull around the touchline. The game is temporarily suspended. B*******. I’m sorry.’
A large fireworks thrown from the stands exploded within feet of fans and security personnel as the Malmo vs Union Berlin Europa League game descended into chaos on Thursday night
Both Malmo and Union fans threw flares and fireworks as play was suspended for 20 minutes
After the match they added: ‘This is a mess. There were at least two rockets from the Union end, at least one big flare from Malmo.
‘Now it’s a stand-off. No-one knows what will happen.’
A later tweet added: ‘Just to clarify, it’s not certain yet they came from the Union block. Or what happened, there are question marks everywhere.
‘It was suddenly chaos. We are waiting for more information.’
A statement released by Malmo read: ‘Malmo FF deeply regrets the situation with the thrown pyrotechnics and bangers from the away section in connection with our home match against Union Berlin.
A lit flare is removed from the pitch by a firefighter as the Europa League game was suspended
The large bang by the side of the pitch startled supporters, who moved away from danger
Riot police remove one supporter from the stands after the chaotic scenes on Thursday night
‘Tonight’s events are something we have never been close to before, something that does not belong in our stadium or any stadium in the world and we clearly distance ourselves from the illegal actions of the individuals in the away section who put other people in great danger.
‘On Thursday evening, we contacted as many spectators as possible who were close to the events.
Riot police were called in to restore order at the Eleda Stadium after crowd disturbances
Union Berlin’s travelling support celebrate their 1-0 win in Sweden with another load of flares
‘It must be safe to go to football. Eleda Stadium must be a safe place to visit. We will continue to work for that.’
UEFA are almost certain to launch an investigation into the crowd trouble with both clubs potentially facing sanctions.
When play resumed, Union won the match 1-0 thanks to a 68th-minute goal by Sheraldo Becker having seen Andras Schafer sent off earlier on.
The result left Malmo pointless and bottom of Group D, while Union are third with three points.