A Europa League tie between Malmo and Union Berlin was delayed after a huge explosion took place just a few yards away from the pitch. Trouble began to emerge from the stands as fans threw objects and pyrotechnic missiles onto the pitch, causing the referee to suspend play and take the players off the pitch on Thursday night in Sweden.
The game was brought to halt on the hour mark at the Eleda Stadion when footage appeared to show a flare being launched from the away end, which was filled with Union Berlin supporters, onto the pitch.
The missile landed just a few yards away from the players after somehow flying through the air and landing near the centre circle. Even after the referee had taken the players off the field during the break in play, more flares were thrown onto the pitch as scenes turned ugly in Sweden.
And the scary moment arrived when stewards made their way over to confront the Union fans and a bomb appeared to explode just a few feet away. Remarkably, it appeared that no one was injured in the incident.
It is unclear which set of fans were throwing the missiles. But Union Berlin’s official English language Twitter account gave a detailed account on the events that unfolded, claiming that two rockets were fired from the Union end, with a big flare emerging from the Malmo support.
“Bangers. Rockets onto the pitch from the Union end. The players taken off. They mull around the touchline. the game is temporarily suspended. B******s. I’m sorry,” the account tweeted.
“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 standoff. No-one knows what will happen.”
After a break of around 20 minutes, the referee brought the players back out onto the pitch to warm up and play soon got back underway.
A message on the PA system reportedly warned both sets of fans to cease throwing pyrotechnics onto the pitch as both sets of fans chanted songs aimed at each other.
And after the brief spell of trouble had ended, Union Berlin managed to take the lead despite having Andreas Schafer sent off in the first half. Sheraldo Becker struck just eight minutes after the clock restarted to hand the Bundesliga outfit their first win in the competition.
But the game will surely be remembered for the wrong reasons rather than the football that took place on the pitch, with both clubs likely to face a UEFA probe into the ugly events that unfolded in Sweden.