The Sports Daily
Referee nearly gets hit by flare in Champions League match (VIDEO)

A soccer referee nearly got burned — literally — while doing his job in a Champions League match on Wednesday.

It happened during the match between Maribor and Spartak Moscow at Ljudski vrt stadium, and isn’t something you normally see at a sporting event.

The craziness started before the match even kicked off, when fans flocked to the streets and began rioting. It resulted in police officers having to use force, with tear gas and pepper spray involved as well.

The tension didn’t wane during the match, either, when fans in the stands somehow managed to begin shooting off flares. One of them made its way onto the pitch, and nearly hit referee Deniz Aytekin.

Luckily, the flare missed Aytekin, and everyone was OK. But it really speaks to how scary it can be attending or playing in some of these matches, when politics and sports intertwine, and fans go to the extreme to make their voices heard.