So another UEFA Cup match has been hit by, well, bottles. Thursday night’s group game between Belgian side Anderlecht and Tottenham Hotspur, might have ended in a 1-1 draw with both sides expressing gladness at the result but the missile throwing misdemeanors throughout the match was hardly something to savor.
Tottenham defender Didier Zokora had to be given treatment during the match after he was thrown an object from the Anderlecht fans. Although he was not seriously hurt, the situation was quite ugly. Even Tottenham custodian Paul Robinson discovered a metal bar on the pitch and had that hit him, he could have had to spend the rest of the night in a hospital.
This is not the first time that trouble has brew at Anderlecht’s home ground. They were slapped with a few thousand dollars fine earlier this season after their fans were found to be creating trouble during a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce. But the supporters appear not to have learnt their lesson and another UEFA fine is required.
This is what Tottenham’s Michael Dawson had to say about the whole scenario:
Myself and Pascal Chimbonda went in to make a block challenge and then a few things were thrown, luckily enough they didn’t hit me. Didier went off and I am not too sure what hit him. For him to go off, something must have hit him. I could see some coins being thrown around me. If you get injured in the game that is part of football but you don’t expect that kind of thing to happen.
Such bottle throwing is not at all uncommon in Europe, especially on occasions of European matches. And more especially when Juande Ramos is present. The Spaniard was knocked unconscious last season during a Copa Del Rey tie between his then club Sevilla FC and their bitter Andalucian rivals Real Betis when a bottle from the Betis fans hit him on the head.
Ramos was visibly angry at the missile-throwing incident on Thursday and his doubts that nothing every concrete is being done to rescue the situation would be echoed by many.