Patrick Vieira: Pitch invasions a ‘big issue’ for English football, after clash with Everton fan


Patrick Vieira insists he will cooperate with the FA if he is charged for clashing with an Everton fan at Goodison Park – but calls pitch invasions a ‘big issue’ for English football to deal with

  • Patrick Vieira has warned that pitch invasions in English football are a ‘big issue’ 
  • The Crystal Palace manager clashed with an Everton fan who was on the field 
  • Vieira will cooperate with the FA if he is charged after reacting to provocation

Patrick Vieira has warned English football’s pitch invasion problem is bigger than his well-documented clash with an Everton fan and that ‘there is a big issue on the FA and Premier League’s plate to deal with.’

Crystal Palace manager Vieira said he will cooperate with the FA should he be charged after lashing out when provoked by an abusive Everton supporter who had run on the Goodison Park pitch last week.

Speaking about the incident for the first time, Vieira 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.

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira warned pitch invasions in English football are a ‘big issue’

Eagles players and staff were disgracefully targeted by Everton fans who had invaded the pitch

Eagles players and staff were disgracefully targeted by Everton fans who had invaded the pitch

‘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. 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.’

And Vieira urged authorities to ensure the safety of players and coaches in their workplace

And Vieira urged authorities to ensure the safety of players and coaches in their workplace

The FA are investigating the incident involving Vieira but also Everton and the behaviour of their fans.

Vieira added: ‘I am not there 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 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.’

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