English lower league football can be a murky business – whether it be the robust footballing philosophies that dominate it, or its susceptibility to dodgy betting patterns that have been known to emerge after a “freak” result.
But if you think things are bad here, events at a fourth division game in Romania took footballing murkiness to a whole new level as a game between Chisoda and Sannicolaul Mare was brought to an abrupt halt by pitch invaders.
These were not the usual over-excited fans, political activists or exhibitionist streakers looking for five minutes of fame, however – they were Romanian special forces, according to a report from Yahoo! Romania.
The security personnel burst on to the field, armed to the teeth and with faces covered by balaclavas, looking for a gang leader called Sorin Udrea, who had apparently turned out for Chisoda earlier in the season.
Everyone at the ground was ordered to the ground as the troops secured the area, and began the search for their man, as the screengrab images from amateur film footage on this page show.
At first it seemed as if the raid was a failure, as the troops failed to find their man on the field of play. But the operation was not in vain after all: he was quickly spotted trying to blend in among the supporters in the stands, according to a report in Maisfutebol.
A man - thought to be Udrea - was then led away by one of the balaclava-clad soldiers and bundled into the back of a car.
- Sports & Recreation