Patrick Vieira faces an FA investigation after appearing to kick out at a fan on the night Everton celebrated securing their Premier League status.
Footage emerged of the Crystal Palace manager seeming to lashing out at a home supporter who was part of a mass pitch invasion following the Toffees’ 3-2 comeback win.
Asked about the incident, Vieira said: ‘I’ve got nothing to say about that.’
The fan who was seemingly involved posted a video of the incident on Twitter. It was put on the social media platform by a fan with the username of @frankie_efc and shows someone putting a middle finger in the face of Vieira, who then reacts.
Thousands of jubilant Everton supporters who had seen their side secure Premier League survival invaded the pitch following the match.
Patrick Vieira appeared to be involved in an incident with a fan after the 3-2 defeat to Everton
Fan footage shows a supporter making an obscene gesture in the face of Vieira
A visibly angry Vieira then turns to face the supporter who had got in his face on the pitch
The Palace boss first seemingly palmed off the fan who had been goading him on the pitch
Vieira then appeared to kick the supporter before other Everton fans stepped in
Vieira, unaccompanied by staff or security, made his way across the pitch towards the away dressing room which is housed in the Park End car park as a result of Covid protocols.
Footage on Sky Sports showed one fan goading Vieira with what looked to be obscene gestures and the angry Palace boss reacted by lashing out, first with his hand before kicking the individual who had approached him.
Vieira was then seemingly shoved by another Everton fan before others stepped in to ensure the 45-year-old could leave the pitch safely.
Speaking on Sky, pundit Dion Dublin criticised the conduct of the fans and suggested he did not blame Vieira for responding.
Vieira was targeted as he attempted to walk across the pitch following his side’s defeat
Everton manager Frank Lampard offered his support to Vieira following the incident.
‘I feel for Patrick because I didn’t get to speak to him at the end because of how it all erupted for us,’ he said.
‘Of course, he is running across the pitch of 80 yards across a lot of our fans, so it is not easy. But there were no issues that I know of.
‘If done in the right way, I am happy for fans to stay on the pitch and enjoy it. As long as everyone is behaving and we don’t see scenes like we did the other night, let them have their moment. It’s what football is all about. Are we going to handcuff them to their seats? As long as they behave, no problem.’
Everton manager Frank Lampard offered his support to Vieira after the match
It comes comes just 24 hours after Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp was headbutted by a Nottingham Forest fan following a pitch invasion.
Robert Biggs, 30, was on Thursday jailed 24 weeks and banned from stands for 10 years.
The Vieira episode marred what had been one of the great Goodison Park nights for Everton, who extended their 68-year top-flight stay with the dramatic victory.
Needing a win to seal safety, their survival battle looked set to be going down to the final day when they trailed Palace at half-time through goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew.
Thousands of fans invaded the pitch after Everton secured their Premier League survival
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the winning goal on a memorable night at Goodison Park
But Everton turned the game around in sensational style in the second half, as Michael Keane pulled a goal back before Richarlison equalised and Dominic Calvert-Lewin completed the comeback with a diving header five minutes from time.
‘It is an incredible night,’ said manager Lampard. ‘I have been playing a long time and coaching a relatively short time. I have achieved many things but this night is right up there amongst them. In my managerial career, that is possibly at the top
‘From 2-0 down to win 3-2, with Premier League safety on the line and what it means to the club, that is special.
‘It is a massive achievement for the club because the permutations of going down would have been huge for everybody.
‘The scenes at the end were just incredible and well deserved. I had no issues. It was pure elation of fans that wanted to stay in the Premier League. As long as everyone is behaving, let them have their moment.
Lampard revelled in an ‘incredible night’ as his side guaranteed their Premier League place
There were jubilant and joyous scenes in the Everton dressing room after the 3-2 victory
‘People will say, ‘You are celebrating standing up’, but it means so much to everyone. People won’t forget this.’
Lampard replaced Rafa Benitez as manager in January when Everton were 16th and four points above the relegation zone.
‘I feel like I am full of thanks,’ he added. ‘Thanks to the fans for taking me on board, thanks to the board and the owner for choosing me in a difficult time for the club when it looked like we were heading in the wrong direction.
‘And thanks to the players, because as much as I have spoken about the fans, the players did that today.
‘The game wasn’t going the way we wanted it. The second goal was so bad for us. But what’s important was how much fighting spirit we had to turn the game around.’
Vieira added: ‘We lost control of the game. When things were going well, we started to showboat a little bit. We stopped doing things simple. They believe they had the chance and they didn’t give up.’