Accidents in football stadiums
There have been various incidents that occurred over the last weekend involving fans from the crowd running onto the pitch and assaulting players. The one that caused the biggest controversy was in the derby between Birmingham and Aston Villa, when a fan ran onto the pitch and punched Jack Grealish in the back of the head and knocked him down to the floor. The players and stewards surrounded the fan and he was arrested on the spot. He pleaded guilty and received a 14-week prison sentence for the offense. The court was looking into giving the man a suspended prison sentence; however, they want to make this case an example for all fans that consider attacking players.
Grealish released a statement after the match:
"I cannot help but feel how lucky I was in this incident," the player said.
"It could have been so much worse had the supporter had some sort of weapon."
Birmingham immediately apologized after the match the Grealish and Aston Villa and banned the fan for life. Grealish is right though, he is lucky considering the fan did not have a weapon and he did not get injured. There has to be better security in feisty derby’s like this one so that things do not get out of hand. Grealish was luckily able to continue playing and scored the only goal of the match in the second half.
The other incident that happened on the weekend was in the match between Arsenal and Manchester United. One of the fans ran onto the pitch when Arsenal scored and pushed Chris Smalling. This incident was not as bad as the Grealish one, however, if the fan was angry or had a weapon it could have been much worse. The Stewards and clubs need to do more in order to protect the players because fans can get emotional and lose their head and if they are able to access the pitch then eventually something very bad will happen to a player.