Fan comes onto field, attacks English soccer player

Or players. It actually happened twice Sunday. The first one was the more serious; Jack Grealish of Aston Villa was punched in the face by a fan. At the Arsenal-Manchester United match, a fan celebrating an Arsenal goal ran out and bumped into a Man U player.

This writer thinks the Grealish assault is a symptom of problems with English society:

<LINK_TEXT text=“https://www.si.com/soccer/2019/03/10/ja … ston-villa”>https://www.si.com/soccer/2019/03/10/jack-grealish-attack-britain-attack-football-aston-villa</LINK_TEXT>

And I don’t think he’s wrong, but it’s not just on his side of the pond. Could it happen here? Absolutely. Grealish is lucky the guy just had a fist, not a knife or worse. The chances that the crazy fan over here has some other kind of weapon are much higher.

There are suggestions that the host team, Birmingham City, be docked points (equivalent to vacating victories in the NCAA), or be forced to play home matches in front of an empty stadium, to emphasize to the fans that this can’t happen again, and to emphasize to clubs that they have to keep the field (or court) as a safe place for the players.

I don’t think its an understatement to say that society on both sides of the Atlantic has become more polarized. Politically, economically, racially, religious differences, there’s a whole lot more of us vs. them, and it’s probably inevitable (but not positive) that this shows up at the stadium, which is already my team vs. your team, as well as everywhere else.

Where is Mike Curtis when you need him? Any idiot charging the field during an NFL game better bring more than a fist. I say if you step on that field you should be considered fair game. Open season on idiots. No different than breaking into the lion’s cage at the zoo. Whatever happens happens. Good luck man. That would certainly learn em.

The Brits don’t mess around. The fan at Birmingham City has already had his court date. He got 14 weeks in jail, a small fine, and is banned from attending any soccer matches anywhere for 10 years. In addition, Birmingham City has given him a lifetime ban; he’ll never be allowed back in their stadium.

Birmingham City has been asked to review and upgrade their security procedures to keep this from happening again. So has Arsenal for the other “pitch invasion”.

I attended a match at Arsenal three years ago, sitting on the eighth row at field level. There were security people ringing the field, but it would not have been difficult at all to run out on to the field if I had been so inclined. English stadiums used to have fences to keep the fans off the field, but the deaths of 96 people in 1989 who were crushed against the fencing at a match led to removal of all those fences.

Yeah, I remember attending a West Ham United game and those ugly fences were not a good look. Was happy to see them removed.

Watched your Arsenal against Dudley’s ManU. You are in 4th place now in a tight race with ManU for that precious 4th place. Dudley did have his moments last week though with that come from behind, controversial PK win over PSG in the UEFA Cup.

Yep, that’s Champions League, what used to be the European Cup. Arsenal about bombed their way out of Europa League (the old UEFA Cup) on Thursday with a 1-3 road loss in France. They’ll have to win at home Thursday by 2-0 or more to advance. Man U should be safe in UCL.

I was thinking back to when the fans at RRS (including my son and I) rushed the field after we beat LSU for Bielema’s first SEC win. Nothing bad happened then, but it sure could have. The old folks in yellow vests are not prepared to handle something like that, and that’s pretty much what I saw at the Emirates three years ago too.