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Patrick Vieira will not face police charges after altercation with fan

By Reuters - May 23rd 2022
Altercation between Patrick Vieira and an Everton fan [Twitter]

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira will not face police charges following an altercation with a fan at Goodison Park after Merseyside Police said on Monday that no formal complaint was filed.

Everton fans invaded the pitch following Dominic Calvert-Lewin's 85th-minute winner and at the final whistle of their 3-2 victory over Palace which secured their Premier League survival.

Vieira was confronted by a fan as he was walking towards the away dressing room after the final whistle. The fan appeared to provoke Vieira, who then kicked him to the ground and had to be led away by other supporters.

"We worked with Everton FC to gather all available CCTV footage and spoke to witnesses," Merseyside Police said in a statement.

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

Following Palace's 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday, Vieira said football players, coaches and staff need to be safe at stadiums.

"I think the Everton incident is bigger than just that incident," Vieira told reporters. "When you look at it in the Premier League, there were a lot of field invasions that can cause trouble.

"You don't know what can happen. 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 (Football Association) and Premier League's plate to deal with. Everybody has to take responsibility and see what is the best way for those things not to happen."

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

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.

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.

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