Newcastle boss Howe warns of ‘potential tragedy’ after Vieira incident in Everton loss

Date published: Friday 20th May 2022 12:10 - Will Ford

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has warned pitch invasions could lead to a “potential tragedy” as Merseyside Police opened an investigation into an altercation at Goodison Park on Thursday night.

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira was involved in an altercation with an Everton supporter who had invaded the pitch following the Toffees’ 3-2 win which secured their Premier League status.

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The Football Association is reportedly looking into the incident.

There had been similar clashes at EFL play-off matches earlier in the week. A Nottingham Forest fan was jailed for 24 weeks after coming onto the pitch and headbutting Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp during Tuesday night’s Championship play-off semi-final second leg at the City Ground.

Another pitch invader at Northampton barged into Mansfield’s Jordan Bowery on Wednesday, while on Thursday night Swindon boss Ben Garner said some of his players had been subjected to physical and verbal abuse at the end of their match away to Port Vale.

Howe, whose Newcastle side travel to face a Burnley side also fighting for survival on Sunday, has warned the authorities must act to avert getting into even more “dangerous territory”.

“I don’t mind the celebrational aspect – embracing the success that a team has had is part of football, I’ve got no issue with that,” he said.

“It’s the aggression towards the opposition, it’s swarms of people around one or two people. That doesn’t sit well with me at all, that’s something we have to act very quickly (on) because we want to avert potential tragedy.

“The scenes at Nottingham Forest, I thought, were shocking to see and at Everton as well. I think we’re going into dangerous territory where something could happen in a game that has terrible consequences, and I don’t think anyone would want to see that.”

Merseyside Police confirmed an investigation was under way into an altercation on the pitch at Goodison Park, adding: “We are working with Everton FC to gather all available CCTV footage and are speaking to witnesses.

“No formal complaint has been received and enquiries into the incident are ongoing.”

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