Patrick Vieira will not be charged over Everton fan altercation

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira faces no police charges for kicking Everton fan who taunted him during pitch invasion after both men declined to make official complaint

  • Patrick Vieira kicked out at an Everton fan after being taunted following a match
  • Everton fans invaded the pitch after Everton’s 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace
  • Palace boss Vieira kicked the fan to the ground after being confronted by him 
  • Merseyside Police said both men involved declined to make a formal complaint 

Patrick Viera will not face any police action after his clash with an Everton fan last week.

Crystal Palace manager Vieira was confronted by a supporter who goaded and abused the Frenchman during the pitch invasion that followed Everton’s 3-2 win.

Having initially tried to ignore the provocation Vieira kicked out the supporter who was also recording the incident.

Along with the FA Merseyside Police also investigated the incident though the latter confirmed: ‘Merseyside Police has concluded enquiries into an altercation on the pitch at Goodison Park following the Everton v Crystal Palace match on Thursday (19 May). 

‘We worked with Everton FC to gather all available CCTV footage and spoke to witnesses.

‘Officers have spoken to both men involved and the opportunity to make a formal complaint or support a prosecution was declined.’

Patrick Vieira appeared to kick the supporter before other Everton fans stepped in after the Crystal Palace boss was isolated and unprotected (left). Fan footage shows a supporter making an obscene gesture in the face of Vieira (right) 

Vieira was confronted by a fan as he was walking towards the away dressing room after the final whistle

Patrick Vieira appeared to be involved in an incident with a fan after the 3-2 defeat to Everton

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Vieira warned English football’s pitch invasion problem is bigger than the well-documented flashpoint he was involved in and clash with and that ‘there is a big issue on the FA and Premier League’s plate to deal with.’

He said: ‘I think the Everton incident is bigger than just that incident.

‘When you look at it in the Premier League, there were a lot of field invasions that can cause trouble.

‘There are real issues here to reflect on and try to see what is the best way to manage it and to deal with it. 

‘You don’t know what can happen. When you don’t know what can happen of course you fear for anything, for the players.

‘We want to be safe and the best way to do that is we need to reflect on what is the best way for those kind of things not to happen on the field.

‘As a coach, manager, player or staff we want to be safe in our workplace. I think there is a big issue on the FA and Premier League’s plate to deal with.

In a separate incident, Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was attacked as Manchester City fans celebrated their Premier League title win by invading the pitch on Sunday. Pictured: Here he is being carried away by stewards during the pitch invasion 

City issued a statement to apologise, saying they had launched an investigation to identify and ban the fan responsible. Pictured: Olsen, who was attacked following the final whistle, removes a flare during the match 

Two football fans are charged over Etihad Stadium pitch invasion as police hunt Man City thug who attacked Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen 

Two football supporters have today been charged after crowd trouble at Manchester City’s title-winning match yesterday as police hunt for the hooligan who smacked Aston Villa’s goalkeeper Robin Olsen around the head.

Ecstatic scenes at the Etihad Stadium were marred by another pitch invasion where a player was assaulted – the fifth outbreak of crowd violence in English football in the past week.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) today said Phillip Maxwell, 28, of Knowsley, Merseyside, has been charged with throwing a missile (pyrotechnic) onto the pitch and will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on June 23.

And Paul Colbridge, 37, of Salford, has been charged with going onto the pitch and will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on June 7. Both have been bailed ahead of the court appearances, police said.

GMP said the investigation into the assault of Aston Villa’s Robin Olsen by a fan during Sunday’s pitch invasion was ongoing, with no arrests yet.

A police spokesman said: ‘Inquiries into the reported assault of a player on the pitch after the final whistle are ongoing with officers working in partnership with both football clubs.’

Manchester City have promised to issue a lifetime ban to the fan who assaulted Olsen. Thousands of home supporters invaded the Etihad Stadium pitch after City sealed the Premier League title yesterday.

Olsen, who had deputised for Emiliano Martinez, was struck by a fan during a pitch invasion.

City responded with a statement. ‘The club would like to sincerely apologise to Robin Olsen, who was assaulted after the final whistle when fans entered the pitch,’ it read.

‘The club has launched an immediate investigation and once identified, the individual will be issued an indefinite stadium ban.’

‘They need the support and the club and the players to get involved. Everybody has to take responsibility and see what is the best way for those things not to happen.’

Vieira added: ‘I am not there [charged by the FA] yet. I will participate with the FA and talk about the incident and give my opinion and my view.

‘Again, it is not about just that incident. It is about all the incidents and I think it happened too often in the last couple of weeks and we need to reflect on that and make a decision so players, staff and fans can be safe going to watch football matches.’

The FA said it is investigating incidents of fans invading the field.

In a separate incident, Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was attacked as Manchester City fans celebrated their Premier League title win by invading the pitch on Sunday.

City issued a statement to apologise, saying they had launched an investigation to identify and ban the fan responsible.

Greater Manchester Police also charged two men following the pitch invasion.

City boss Pep Guardiola added: ‘I’m so sorry on behalf of the club. It is difficult to think why people react in that way. Hopefully we can discover the person and he can be punished.’ 

Speaking about pitch invasions, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said: ‘All of a sudden in these last few weeks and months we’ve got these idiots not just running on the pitch, which to be fair is a problem, but actually if you’re attacking players then what the hell are you doing?

‘They’re delirious, they’ve won the league, I get that. But attacking opposition players on the pitch? Where has this come from? It’s absolutely ridiculous.

‘There’s this real sort of threat now and feeling that fans could start to attack people.’ 

Roy Keane, another Sky pundit, added: ‘It’s disgraceful. It really is. A player or a manager is going to be seriously injured.

‘If you’re mad enough to come on and punch a player then you’re going to be mad enough to do something silly like stab a player. There will be something crazy happen.

‘People have come back after Covid and forgotten how to behave themselves. Idiots, scumbags. 

‘It’s a disgrace. We’ve seen it at Forest and with Patrick Vieira. It’s absolutely disgraceful.’ 

A Nottingham Forest fan who head-butted Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp during a pitch invasion was jailed for 24 weeks and handed a 10-year football banning order on Thursday. 

Nottingham Forest fan Robert Biggs assaulted Billy Sharp after Forest beat Sheffield United

The on-field assault on Sharp brought back vivid memories of an attack on Jack Grealish -then of Aston Villa- in a game at bitter rival Birmingham City.

Grealish was knocked to the ground by a supporter who was subsequently jailed for 14 weeks and given a 10-year stadium ban.   

The FA said it is ‘very concerned about the rise in anti-social behaviour from fans’.

In a statement on Friday, the FA called on clubs to ‘play a vital role’ and prevent pitch invasions as well as ‘taking their own action’. The FA said it was ‘reviewing our regulations to help stamp this behaviour out and to ensure the safety of everyone inside a stadium’.

The FA added: ‘Football stadiums should always be a safe and enjoyable space for everyone, and these incidents are completely unacceptable and have no place in our game.

‘It is illegal to enter the pitch area in any stadium and these actions are putting players, fans and people who run the game at great risk. This simply cannot continue and we can confirm that we are investigating all of the incidents.’


Monday (May 16)

Huddersfield fans run on to the pitch at the John Smith’s Stadium after beating Luton to reach the Championship play-off final. Luton boss Nathan Jones calls some of them ‘an absolute disgrace’ after he and his team are abused and goaded by Terriers supporters.

Tuesday (May 17)

Thousands of Nottingham Forest fans invade the pitch at the City Ground, following their play-off semi-final win against Sheffield United on penalties. United’s Billy Sharp is headbutted by a Forest fan who is later jailed for assault.

Wednesday (May 18)

Two Northampton fans run on to the pitch, throw a flare and confront Mansfield Town striker Jordan Bowery during their play-off semi-final defeat at Sixfields.

Thursday (May 19)

Everton secure their Premier League status with a comeback win over Crystal Palace. Thousands of fans stream on to the pitch. One approaches and taunts Palace manager Patrick Vieira, who then kicks out at him.

After their play-off semi-final win, Port Vale fans invade the pitch and appear to physically and verbally abuse Swindon Town players. Swindon manager Ben Garner says, ‘I don’t know where we’re going as a country, it’s absolutely disgusting.’

Sunday (May 22)

Manchester City apologised to Robin Olsen and vowed to indefinitely ban the fan who attacked Aston Villa’s goalkeeper during Sunday’s pitch invasion.

Thousands were on the Etihad Stadium turf after wrapping up the Premier League title and Villa boss Gerrard says goalkeeper Olsen was hurt.

City swiftly released a statement apologising to Olsen.

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