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“Got to stop before a tragedy” – Jan Aage Fjortoft offers his opinion on Patrick Vieira kicking pitch invader to the ground during Everton celebrations

Patrick Vieira appeared to kick an Everton fan following the pitch invasion at Goodison Park.
Patrick Vieira appeared to kick an Everton fan following the pitch invasion at Goodison Park.
Jack Spedding

Former Norway striker Jan Aage Fjortoft has called for pitch invasions to stop following an incident between Everton supporters and Patrick Vieira.

The Toffees pulled off a remarkable comeback victory against Crystal Palace after trailing 2-0 at half-time to win 3-2 at Goodison Park on Thursday (May 19). In doing so, they ensured their Premier League survival.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's late winner prompted fans to run onto the pitch during his celebrations and after full-time.

So much going on here at Goodison. Dominic Calvert-Lewin heads home as Everton go 3-2 up after being 2-0 down. Fans run onto the pitch. Flares going off. Players in the stands. Also, that sunset is majestic... #EFC 3-2 #CPFC #EVECRY https://t.co/hfs767AusP

Following the final whistle, Palace boss Vieira was forced to walk to the tunnel on the opposite end of the ground amid thousands of Everton fans.

Footage has since emerged of the Frenchman being goaded by a supporter before retaliating by kicking the man and grappling with him, which preceded the former Arsenal midfielder being led away.

The Telegraph has since reported that both Merseyside police and the FA are investigating the incident.

Former Sheffield United and Middlesbrough player Fjortoft has dismissed the idea that Vieira should be punished, while also wishing for the recent trend of pitch invasions to cease. He tweeted:

To punish Viera??? You must be joking! I love passionate fans. But this pitch- invasion- trend got to stop before a tragedy will happen

Earlier in the week, Sheffield United forward Billy Sharp was assaulted by a supporter during a pitch invasion at the City ground after Nottingham Forest's play-off semi-final win over the Blades. Sharp's manager Paul Heckingbottom told Sky News that the forward was 'shook up, bleeding and angry'.

Sky Sports News reported that the Nottinghamshire Police have requested Oli McBurnie to attend a meeting after it was alleged that the United forward stamped on a Forest supporter during the same pitch invasion.


Patrick Vieira refuses to comment on incident during Everton pitch invasion

The 45-year-old has enjoyed an incredibly successful debut campaign with Crystal Palace. Despite conducting a squad overhaul in the summer, the club sit comfortably in mid-table while also reaching the FA Cup semi-final this term.

Following the incident at Goodison Park, the Eagles boss was asked to comment on the matter. He replied (as quoted by The Liverpool Echo)

"No, I have nothing to say about that.”

According to The Mirror, Everton boss Frank Lampard said the following about the incident:

“I feel for Patrick because I didn’t get him at the end because of how it all erupted for us. I would have said: ‘Come in with us’ (into the Everton dressing-room area rather than the Crystal Palace area on the other side of the pitch)."

The former England midfielder added:

"Of course, he’s running across the pitch of 80 yards of our fans coming on. It’s not easy. There’s nothing from me. Not any issues. It was pure elation of fans who want to stay in the Premier League that come on the pitch.”

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar

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