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Flare Incident Could See Toronto FC Supporters Section Banned From Montreal

The timing couldn't be worse for Toronto FC supporters to act out of line again, and the actions of the few could affect the many who would like to travel to Montreal for the club's first ever playoff game.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Oh when the reds, go marching in, oh when the reds go marching in, there could be a big decrease in that number, oh when the reds go matching in to Saputo Stadium on Thursday. In fact, from a traditional supporters section sense, they might not go marching in at all.

Toronto FC fans are under investigation by Major League Soccer as a result of flares and smoke bombs lit during Sunday's match, according to a report from Kurt Larson of the Toronto Sun. There is a possibility, according to Larson, that these actions could result in a ban from organized support for Thursday's knockout round game.

This isn't the first time Toronto FC supporters have gotten themselves in trouble on the road. In 2009 a group travelling to Columbus were involved in an altercation which led to arrests and a Toronto supporter being tasered.

That was a bad year for Toronto FC fans, as two teenagers were charged with throwing flares at a match against Chivas USA. One of those flares landed on the field causing damage, while another fell in the stands and burned a women's thigh.

While there is no evidence at this point that anyone was physically harmed this time around, but the incident has left several Toronto fans simmering, and for good reason.

They have worked, cheered and invested their money and time in a club that has let them down so many times. Being able to travel to a rival city to watch with the supporters groups that has become like a family as Toronto FC play in their first ever playoff game would be a small consolation for all that.

Now that consolation could disappear because of a few bad apples who decided to take their support for the club too far.

Social media, which is admittedly a horrible juror, appears to implicate a Toronto FC supporters group called the Inebriatti. Supporters from that group have been quick to deny that fact, although have been known to bring smoke bombs into BMO Field in the past.

The Inebriatti have been key to reigniting a recently dormant Toronto FC south end, but their "ultra" mentality this season has seen their relationships strained with some longtime supporters of the club.

Whether it was them, or any other supporters group, or just a couple of unrelated individuals, however, this should be a sobering moment for Toronto supporters. Nobody should be condoning activity like this, and it might be time to cut out smoke bombs altogether, even if they add to the intimidating atmosphere at BMO Field.

Because at the end of the day, in an attempt to become more intimidating, or more ultra, or whatever the heck the goal was here, Toronto fans have insured that their voice will be less powerful in Montreal on Thursday.

Toronto FC have been visibly better with their home fans behind them, and their record shows it as well as they finished the regular season with a 11-5-1 record at BMO Field.

In a one game playoff, any advantage can make a difference, and looking up to see the more than 500 fans that have travelled down to support the team is not an insignificant fraction of comfort for Toronto FC.

Whether Major League Soccer takes action against Toronto FC supporter's or not, they need to learn that when they wear the Toronto crest their negative actions will have consequences for the entire fanbase.