Linesman hit by flare thrown from Spurs crowd at Villa Park | inside World Soccer

Tottenham Hotspur's 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday was overshadowed when a linesman was hit by a flare thrown by a member of the visiting support.

Linesman David Bryan clutches his shirt after being hit by a flare from the crowd
Linesman David Bryan clutches his shirt after being hit by a flare from the crowd

Photo: Getty Images

The incident occurred shortly after Andros Townsend gave the visitors the lead in the 31st minute.

Linesman David Bryan appeared to have been hit on the back of the neck whilst running the line in front of the Spurs fans located in the Doug Ellis Stand.

Although the official was able to continue without treatment, there was a short delay because of the blue smoke on the pitch.

The Football Association announced on Sunday evening that it was launching an investigation, while two arrests were made by West Midlands Police.

An FA spokesman said: "The FA will investigate this matter, which is unacceptable.

"We will await the match officials' report and will be speaking to the clubs.

"Such incidents highlight the dangers of pyrotechnics being used in a football stadium."

Tottenham boss André Villas-Boas added: "Obviously it is not great to see. It should be avoided completely.

"I think situations like this do not have a place in football. I sincerely hope it does not happen again."

In August, Policing Minister Damian Green warned that fans who smuggled flares and smoke bombs into games were putting the lives of other supporters at risk.

The government's warning over the devices said they could burn as hot as 1,600 degrees Celsius for as long as an hour.