English police have opened an investigation after Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira was involved in an altercation with a fan after the club’s defeat at Everton.
The incident came during the latest in a series of pitch invasions that have marred the end of the English season.
The Football Association said it was “very concerned” about the trend and confirmed it is investigating what happened at Goodison Park as well as others from earlier this week.
Vieira kicked out at an Everton supporter who was taunting him on the field after Everton’s 3-2 victory on Thursday.
Merseyside police said that they were “working with Everton FC to gather all available CCTV footage and are speaking to witnesses.”
Police, without naming Vieira, said they are “investigating an altercation on the pitch at Goodison Park following the Everton v Crystal Palace match on Thursday.”
“No formal complaint has been received and enquiries into the incident are ongoing,” police said.
“We are very concerned about the rise in anti-social behaviour from fans as we reach the end of the season,” the FA said on Friday. “It is illegal to enter the pitch area in any stadium and these actions are putting players, fans and people who run the game at great risk.
The FA added it is reviewing its regulations “to help stamp this behaviour out.”
A Nottingham Forest fan was sentenced to 24 weeks in jail for entering the field and assaulting Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp at the end of a play-off game on Tuesday in the second-tier Championship.
A pitch invader at Northampton shoved a Mansfield player on Wednesday, and a night later Swindon manager Ben Garner said some of his players were subjected to physical and verbal abuse at the end of their match at Port Vale. Both matches were fourth tier promotion play-offs..
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he was surprised to see fathers tugging their young sons onto the field at Everton.
“You lose your mind for yourself it’s OK but you lose it for yourself and your son, I didn’t (understand) that,” he said. “It could have been really dangerous.”
Goodison Park was flooded by Everton supporters after their team recovered from 2-0 down at half-time to win 3-2. The victory secured Premier League survival before Sunday’s final round.
As Vieira tried to leave the field, a supporter seemingly holding up a phone could be seen extending his arms toward the Frenchman’s face. Vieira then turned and tried to grab the phone before kicking out at him with his right foot. The fan fell to the ground.
Vieira, a nominee for the Premier League manager of the season award, declined to comment on the incident after the match.