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Ħamrun Spartans-Maccabi Haifa Champions League tie halted due to crowd trouble

The Champions League tie between Ħamrun Spartans and Maccabi Haifa was stopped by the match officials after clashes between both sets of fans at the Centenary Stadium.

The two sides were facing each other in the first qualifying round, first leg tie of the Champions League, and there were concerns of crowd trouble before the match given the bad reputation of the Maccabi fans.

During the first half, referee Donald Robertson, of the Scottish FA, was forced to stop the match for the first time when flairs were thrown by the Maccabi fans towards the Ħamrun Spartans area.

Order was soon restored and the match could continue.

However, things degenerated in the first ten minutes of the second half when fans of Maccabi, who were leading the match by two goals to nil, lit up flares a second time, creating tense backlash by the Ħamrun Spartans fans who were seated a few metres away.

Water bottles were thrown by the Ħamrun fans towards the Maccabi section with the police quickly making their way to try and restore order.

During this mayhem, the Maccabi fans threw two flares towards the section where the Ħamrun Spartans fans were situation creating a huge commotion.

Here, the referee had no option but to halt the match and the UEFA Delegate, Richard Havrila, from Slovakia, stepped onto the pitch and ordered the players off the pitch.

After ten minutes, it was decided that the match would continue but warned both sets of fans that another incident would force the officials to call off the match.

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