Beerschot fans pelt pitch with smoke bombs

For the third time this week a match in a Belgian football stadium has been marred by crowd trouble. On Thursday there was fighting in the stands at the end of Royal Antwerp FC’s Europa League group stage game against Eintracht Frankfurt, while on Friday Standard de Liège fans threw tennis balls onto the pitch and staged a pitch invasion during their team’s games at KV Mechelen.

On Saturday it was the turn of the fans of the team currently at the bottom of the Belgian First Division Beerschot to misbehave.

Around one hour into Beerschot’s home game against second-to-bottom club OH Leuven some of the home fans decided to engulf the Beerschot keeper Mike Vanhamel’s goal in smoke. Such was the density of the wall of smoke that the match referee Erik Lambrechts decided to stop the match for a short time and told the captains of the two teams what would happen is the fans’ misbehaviour didn’t cease.

However, this did little to resolve the issue. On the contrary in fact, as this provided the trigger for Beerschot fans to throw yet more smoke bombs from the stands onto the pitch. Keeper Mike Vanhamel pleaded with fans to stop and set about clearing the smoke bombs from the pitch.

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