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Crystal Palace manager Vieira on pitch invasions — ‘You fear for player safety’ - The Athletic

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has said he “fears for player safety” after Manchester City’s Premier League title victory resulted in yet another...

  • Posted on 22nd May, 2022 19:45 PM
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Crystal Palace manager Vieira on pitch invasions — ‘You fear for player safety’ - The Athletic Image

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has said he “fears for player safety” after Manchester City’s Premier League title victory resulted in yet another pitch invasion.

Vieira was involved in an altercation with Everton fans after the Merseyside club’s dramatic survival on Thursday night. The 45-year-old appeared to kick out at a supporter who was both shouting abuse and waving his phone in the manager’s face.

The Football Association later confirmed to The Athletic that they were investigating the incident, while Merseyside Police also confirmed they were aware of the altercation.

Speaking after Palace’s 1-0 win over Manchester United, Vieira said: “The Everton incident is bigger than (just) that incident. There was a lot of pitch invasions that caused trouble. There are real issues here to reflect on and see the best ways to manage it.

“You don't know what can happen. When you don't know what can happen you fear for anything, for the players. We want to be safe and the best way is to find the best way for those kind of things not to happen. We want to be safe in our workplace. There is a big issue for the FA and Premier League to deal with.

“They need the support and the club and players to get involved as well. It’s not only the FA. Everybody has to take responsibility and see the best way for those things not to happen.”

He also commented on the FA’s investigation after the Everton altercation.

Asked whether he would accept a fine, he replied: “I’m not there yet. I will participate with the FA and talk about the incident and give my opinion and view but it’s not about that incident, it's happened too often in the last couple of weeks.

“We need to reflect and make a decision so players, staff and fans can be safe.”

There have been several other allegations of violence due to pitch invasions in recent weeks.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard accused Manchester City fans of “attacking” goalkeeper Robin Olsen after they secured the league title, while a Nottingham Forest fan was imprisoned this week for headbutting Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp.

On Friday, the FA published a statement saying it was “very concerned” by the increase in pitch invasions and called on clubs to “prevent” them from occurring.

Wilfried Zaha scored the only goal of the game at Selhurst Park on Sunday to ensure that Palace finished the season in 12th.

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