Football fans can often lead to a team’s downfall.
When Rangers fans demolished Manchester’s city centre in 2007 they were thrust into a negative spotlight. The riots seen in the aftermath of their Europa League final defeat meant that they were instantly regarded as a collection of animals.
Tonight’s events in Benfica, whilst not as dramatic, will surely be looked at by UEFA with great interest.
The complete stupidity was portrayed by some of the watching spectators, as a mere five minutes after a fire cracker almost deafened one of the match officials, further ones were thrown onto the pitch.
Smoke filled the game at certain points and the last visible object strewn onto the pitch forced a small crater of turf to be stripped from the ground.
These objects came from the Benfica fans.
Not only is this sort of behaviour irresponsible, it also highlighted the impact it can have on those close to the action. The official who was almost struck by one of the fire crackers, was evidently seen to fiddle with his ear straight afterwards.
This is not something should be witness to.
As the camera breezed past the side of the stadium where the cracker had come from you couldn't help but take an intense snap shot to try and identify the culprit.
Obviously with thousands in the stands this was virtually impossible, but something that the sports governing body are likely to take action against.
This may be a fine, or some sort of penalty. Yet the important thing is that the extremity of the events will need to provide an influence to the behaviour of the fans. These are the fans who support teams that want to be playing European football.