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FlareThe use of flares has been commonplace around Europe for years but it’s popularity has only flared up in England in recent times. Flares have been in regular use by Liverpool fans with the red mist descending on grounds foreign to the Anfield natives. However, the use has taken a sour twist in a recent fixture between Tottenham and Aston Villa at Villa Park.

After Andros Townsend had pushed the away side in front, the jubilant Spurs fans celebrated in unison but one fan overstepped the mark, lighting up a blue flare and tossing it towards the pitch. Linesman David Bryan found himself in the line of fire as the cannister struck him on the back of his neck.

FA secretary Alex Horne admits that the presence of flares is a growing concern and investigations are under way to rectify the situation although the small stature of flares makes it difficult.

“We don’t like to see it, but they are very small, they are very portable” he said.

As of yet FIFA have not offered an input into the situation.