Mass pitch invasions and altercation between Vieira and fan in 'disgusting' night of football clashes

Sky News

Mass pitch invasions at two football grounds led to “physical and verbal” abuse as well as an altercation between a manager and a fan – in a night of soccer clashes condemned as “disgusting”.

Footage has emerged of an incident between Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira and an Everton fan who appears to fall to the ground after a highly-charged relegation decider game.

The man had invaded the pitch with hundreds of other fans as the final whistle sounded after Everton beat Palace to secure their place in the Premier League next season.

Vieira was walking across the pitch towards his team’s dressing room at the other side of the ground when an Everton fan approached him, prompting a reaction from the Palace boss.

Everton fans celebrate the victory against Christal Palace during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Thursday, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Exuberant Everton fans celebrate victory against Christal Palace. Pic: Associated Press

On the same evening, Swindon head coach Ben Garner claimed his players were “physically and verbally abused” by Port Vale supporters who also stormed the pitch following his side’s League Two play-off semi-final defeat at Vale Park.

Swindon won the first leg 2-1 at home but were beaten 1-0 by their hosts on Thursday night, with Port Vale eventually winning the tie 6-5 on penalties to progress to the League Two play-off final.

The deciding spot-kick was missed by the Swindon’s Ellis Landolo, which prompted the home fans to invade the field as the visitors tried to make a hasty exit.

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Speaking to Sky Sports, the Swindon boss said: “Players have been physically and verbally abused. I know I’ve seen it in some of the other play-off games.

“I don’t know where we’re going as a country. It’s absolutely disgusting.”

The evening’s ugly scenes came after a man was jailed for headbutting Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp during a pitch invasion after a match on Tuesday night.

And Sheffield United player Oli McBurnie was asked to attend a meeting with Nottinghamshire Police, after he was accused of deliberately stamping on a supporter at the City Ground.

The striker later endorsed a tweet suggesting he was trying to step over the person while nursing an injured foot.

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