London: Tottenham were forced to apologise after their 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League was halted for around 10 minutes after a series of pitch invasions at White Hart Lane on Thursday.
The Group C tie in north London was interrupted on three separate occasions in the first half by individual pitch invaders before referee Yevhen Aranovskiy decided to take the players off for their own safety in the 41st minute.
After several minutes of confusion among the crowd, with fears growing that the match would be abandoned, an announcement over the public address system confirmed play would resume.
"Three pitch invaders at tonight`s match have been arrested and are assisting police with their enquiries," Tottenham said on their official Twitter account.
"We shall provide an update as soon as we have established the full facts.
"We apologise to fans for the disruptions caused by this totally unacceptable behaviour."
The first invader had come on in the 22nd minute and had time to shake hands with Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen and also take two separate photos with Spurs stars Kyle Naughton and Erik Lamela before stewards finally intervened.
There was another invasion five minutes later, prompting an angry reaction from Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado, who tugged at the man`s shirt.
When a third person came onto the pitch just before half-time wearing the same t-shirt, with the slogan `Bassbud FC`, as the two previous offenders, it added to speculation that the problem was a coordinated effort and possibly some kind of publicity stunt.
The incidents are certain to provoke a UEFA investigation into Tottenham`s security arrangements.
Tottenham`s victory ensured them of a place in the knockout stages of the competition.