The Universitatea Craiova-Budapest Honvéd rematch ended up scandalously in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round, after home supporters hit the referee with a metal lighter on his head, and a sound grenade also blew up just nearby him. Honvéd’s management decided to appeal.
“What happened at the end of the game – that the referee and our players were endangered – is unacceptable for our Club. The management of Honvéd decided to appeal the match, which shouldn’t have continued under such circumstances.”
– is written in the Hungarian club’s statement.
It all started when in the 119th minute of the match after a Honvéd corner, the Albanian midfielder of Craiova Kamer Qaka attacked Honvéd defender Bence Batik, who fell to the ground. The fight between the players of the two teams ended soon, but meanwhile the Northern Irish referee, Arnold Hunter also fell to the ground, after a sound grenade blew up right behind him, and seconds later somebody from the home ultras sector also hit him with a metal lighter on his head. The referee was lying on the ground for long minutes, before he even could stand up, but even after he did, he looked confused and was unable to make judgments for a long time. When he finally did make up his mind, the strangest thing was, that Qaka, who started the whole fight didn’t get any card, but Honvéd player Batik (who was attacked) and another Craiova player, Carlos Fores received a yellow card.
The incident in the 119. minute. The referee injures at 0:42
But the game still did not continue and was on hold altogether for 30 minutes. According to Honvéd during the talks with UEFA’s observers even the cancellation of the game occurred as an option. (If it would had happened Honvéd would had won the game and would had advanced to the third qualifying round.) But the decision after the half an hour brake was to finish the match and play the 1 minute which was left from the game with the lead of the Fourth Assistant Referee, who replaced the injured Arnold Hunter. According to Honvéd:
the Romanian gendarmes told to referee Hunter: that if the match would be abandoned, then they would not be able to guarantee the safety of the players…
…in case the angry home supporters would enter the field. (About 25 thousand spectators were present in the Ion Oblemenco Stadium including the nearly 200 Honvéd fans as well.)
Because there was no goal neither in the first nor in the second game –including the overtime as well- the advance was about to be decided by penalties. Craiova goalkeeper, Mirko Pigliacelli saved three out of the first four Honvéd shots, which meant that Craiova won the battle to 3-1. But something was just not right here either. The icing on the cake was that Pigliacelli stood each times ahead of the goal line with about a meter in the moment of the shots, which –according to the new UEFA rules- is a foul, so all four shots must had been repeated by the referees, but this did not happened. As a result of all the above the management of Budapest Honvéd stated, that they are going to appeal the match.
Title image: Northern Irish referee, Arnold Hunter injured in the 119 minutes as a result of a sound grenade blown up right behind him and a metal lighter hitting his head. (Photo: honvedfc.hu)