Home Champions League Benfica fans throw flares at opponents in the Champions League.

Benfica fans throw flares at opponents in the Champions League.

by James Olley
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In the match where Real Sociedad defeated Benfica 3-1 in the Champions League, visiting team fans threw flares twice, with one incident hitting the home crowd.

During the first half, the section occupied by Benfica fans witnessed the ignition of four flares. During this period, the visiting team conceded three goals in succession, scored by the Basque players Mikel Merino, Mikel Oyarzabal, and Ander Barrenetxea.

In the second half, four flares continued to burn in the section occupied by Benfica fans. This time, they threw two flares, one towards the Real Sociedad fans and one onto the pitch. Benfica players had to urge the fans to maintain order, at which point the situation began to calm down.

Benfica fans threw flares towards the Sociedad fans at Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian, the Basque Country, Spain, during the fourth round of Group D in the Champions League on November 8, 2023.

Currently, there is no information regarding any injured spectators. However, they posted on Sociedad’s official social media account: “Benfica fans, you should be ashamed.”

A few hours before the match in the city of San Sebastian, in the Basque Country, fans of both teams also clashed in the streets. They wore black attire and were involved in flare-throwing, even throwing seats toward each other. According to Casual Ultra, the aggressive Benfica fan group initially provoked the situation but then had to flee. Seven Benfica fans were taken to the hospital after this brawl.

Similar incidents involving fans throwing flares have also occurred in the previous season’s Champions League, at Inter’s stadium during the quarter-finals, and the culprits were again the aggressive Benfica fans. The Portuguese club was fined for the behavior of their fans.

A similar incident also occurred in the V-League in 2019, during a match between Hanoi and Nam Dinh at Hang Day Stadium. A visiting team fan named Vu Trung Truc fired a flare from stand B into stand A, causing severe injuries to a woman who had to be rushed to the hospital. Truc was later sentenced to four years in prison for offenses related to disturbing public order, intentional harm, and resisting law enforcement.

Benfica, based in Lisbon, had previously won the European Cup in 1961 and 1962. Despite reaching the quarter-finals last season, they have suffered four consecutive losses in the group stage, scoring just one goal. They are certain to be eliminated from the Champions League, with only a slim chance of dropping to the Europa League if they finish third in Group D.

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