The English Football Association is investigating all incidents of fans entering the pitch and has condemned the “antisocial behaviour” as completely unacceptable.
Most important points:
- Video appeared to show Patrick Vieira kicking an Everton fan after Palace’s 3-2 loss
- The FA has launched an investigation after a series of field invasions over the past two weeks
- A Nottingham Forest fan has been convicted of headbutting Sheffield striker Billy Sharp last week
The FA’s statement came after Everton fans burst onto the pitch at Goodison Park after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 85th-minute winner at the final whistle of Thursday’s 3-2 win over Crystal Palace, which secured the side’s spot in the Premier League. League secured next season.
Palace manager Patrick Vieira was also involved in an altercation with a fan as he headed for the dressing room after the final whistle.
The fan appeared to provoke Vieira with hand gestures, after which Vieira kicked him to the ground and had to be led away by other supporters.
“We are very concerned about the increase in anti-social behavior from fans towards the end of the season,” the FA said on Friday.
“It is illegal to enter the field in any stadium and these actions put players, fans and people running the game in grave danger. This simply cannot continue and we can confirm that we are investigating all incidents.”
The FA said clubs should prevent field invasions and urged them to take action themselves against those who break the rules and the law.
“The FA will make every effort to work with clubs and address the issues from a disciplinary perspective,” the statement said.
West Ham United manager David Moyes said such incidents were a “problem”, while Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said pitch intruders posed a danger to players and staff.
“We have to stop it and we have to minimize the risk and exposure of players and staff in this situation because you have no control,” he said.
“When so many people are involved, it becomes dangerous.”
Vieira, who has been nominated for Premier League manager of the season, declined to comment after the game.
There have also been a number of field invasions in England’s lower leagues in recent weeks.
Nottinghamshire Police said a man was arrested and interviewed on suspicion of assault as part of an investigation into video footage of an incident during Tuesday’s Championship play-off semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United.
Police gave no details about the incident, but a social media video showed United striker Oli McBurnie, dressed in a surgical boot, appeared to be stomping on a fan during a field invasion after Forest won on penalties at City ground.
A Forest fan who headbutted United captain Billy Sharp during the field invasion was jailed for 24 weeks and banned from football for 10 years on Thursday.
Swindon Town manager Ben Garner said his players were “physically and verbally abused” following their defeat to Port Vale in the semi-final of the League Two play-off.
Swindon was beaten 6-5 on penalties from Vale, whose fans burst into the field after the final penalty, and television footage appeared to show there was an altercation with Swindon players.