Police have warned of a new plan to pull the plug on illegal streams of the Europa and Champions League finals at ‘critical moments’.

The technique has been announced in an effort to dissuade non-paying viewers from finding an illegal stream for fear of the stream cutting out immediately before a goal or just before the final whistle.

The City of London Police are leading the crackdown which will target those people sharing the unauthorised streams over the internet.

The streams are on the rise during high-profile sporting events such as the Europa and Champions League, but those sharing them should prepare to be prosecuted and fined, they said.

Detective Chief Inspector Teresa Russell, head of the Intellectual Property Crime Unit at the force said: “By illegally streaming the match, you never know when the site is likely to be shut down.

“It could be at a crucial point in the match.

“In fact, enforcement agencies and companies will aim to do just that in an attempt to dissuade people from using illegal sites in the future.”

Fans will be able to watch a legitimate free stream, either through BT Sport’s website or on its YouTube channel.

Arsenal will play Chelsea tonight in the Europa League final in Azerbaijan.