Tottenham Hotspur face a potential stadium closure after footage emerged of Marseille spectators clashing with stewards and police during their Champions League fixture last week, according to ex-Premier League referee Keith Hackett.
The Lowdown: Chaos at Spurs vs Marseille
Footage has recently emerged on Twitter which shows the French club’s fans throwing a few missiles at Spurs supporters, before escalating into full-blown fights with stewards.
As a result, riot police had to intervene to calm the situation down.
These events put a dampener on the Lilywhites’ return to Champions League, in which Antonio Conte’s side kicked off their campaign with a solid 2-0 victory thanks to a brace from new signing Richarlison.
The Latest: Hackett’s claim
Hackett believes Spurs are going to be subject to punishment for the events that transpired on Wednesday night.
Speaking with Football Insider, the former referee claimed:
“I think Tottenham are probably in trouble.
“What we have to understand is there is a match delegate appointed by UEFA. Usually, it’s a guy with a strong administrative background. He’s there as the contact between the clubs and UEFA, he’s the UEFA man at the stadium.
“Part of his remit is to report on various things. He’ll do a walk around the stadium before the game to ensure that enough gates are open, access into the stadium is OK and there’s no problems externally.
“This is a real problem. Two sets of fans were throwing things at each other.
“The first question is UEFA will look to see if there’s a history of Tottenham Hotspur in this area. Has there been any previous problems with ground security and incidents of this kind?
“If there isn’t then Tottenham can expect a substantial fine. If they have got previous Tottenham could well be in for a closure of the ground, no spectators in.
“UEFA are really keen on that particular scenario. They will be investigating it. The disciplinary panel will be looking at the number of security people, the pre-planning arrangements, and where was the security? We know security came in with the helmeted police officers coming in.
“Watch this space. Usually, UEFA take a dim view of this type of behaviour. When it’s an English club they get microscopic.”
The Verdict: Could be a big blow
If UEFA do end up forcing Tottenham to play even one of their home Champions League games behind closed doors, this would be a huge blow given the impact the positive atmosphere around N17 is making on the pitch.
It will feel slightly unfair given who the footage suggests was to blame, but Tottenham will be hoping they receive a fine; otherwise, they could be coming into other games already on the back-foot.
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