Flares have forced the closure of one of London's busiest Tube stations as hundreds of football fans congregated outside.

Smoke from the flares entered Covent Garden station on Saturday (11 March) as fans from Lincoln City "overran" the area outside.

Images from the scene showed hundreds of people outside the station and in surrounding pubs ahead of their FA Cup sixth round clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium at 5.30pm GMT.

London Metropolitan Police's football unit confirmed the closure via Twitter.

"Due to smoke from flares entering Covent Garden tube the station has been closed. Use Leicester [Square] or Holborn tube instead," the spokesman said.

Lincoln City fans, known as the Imps, called the takeover of the busy central London area an "Impvasion".

Covent Garden was closed for just short of an hour, before staff cleared the smoke and reopened the station.

A spokesman for the Piccadilly tube line confirmed the reopening of the station at 4pm GMT.

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