Referee gets hit by smoke grenade as Universitatea Craiova and Budapest Honved brawl

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 probably didn’t expect to make headlines in England with their Europa League clash - especially as it was goalless after 180 minutes.

However, thanks to some rather ugly scenes in the last minute of extra-time in the second leg in their Europa League qualifying match, that’s exactly what has happened.

Tensions were obviously high as the match edged towards a penalty shootout. There had already been eight yellows cards in a match in which Craiova dominated but just couldn’t score.

Honved had a late corner-kick to defend which goalkeeper Attila Berla caught well.

But striker Carlos Fortes’ attempt to win the ball upset the Honved defenders.

Four defenders immediately surrounded Fortes before all hell broke loose.

Almost every player on the pitch got involved in an almighty shoving match.

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Then, as Northern Irish referee Arnold Hunter watched the fight break out, he was hit by a smoke grenade.

Hunter immediately needed treatment as he went down clutching his head.

Soon, an ambulance was driving onto the pitch, breaking up the brawl that had broken out between the two sets of players.

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The match was suspended for half an hour as the ref received treatment with the fourth official taken charge when it eventually restarted.

When it did resume the home side, Craiova, triumphed 3-1 on penalties to reach the third qualifying round.

Honved said in a statement that the delay took place while referees, Uefa delegates and club representatives discussed whether it should be called off.

"What was unacceptable to our club was what happened at the end of the meeting to put the referee or our players at risk," the statement added.

FUN FACT:

Former Liverpool striker David N’Gog plays for the losing side, Honved, and scored his side’s only penalty during the spot-kicks.

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