Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira could undergo disciplinary action, after appearing to kick out at a fan who goaded him on the pitch after his team’s 3-2 defeat away to Everton at Goodison Park on Thursday night.
Fans of Everton had entered the pitch after the Toffees secured their Premier League status with the victory over Palace, with video footage showing one fan making an obscene gesture in close proximity to Vieira, who responded by grabbing him and kicking him. The supporter then fell to the ground.
Under UK laws, it is a criminal offence to enter the pitch but notwithstanding Vieira is being investigated by Merseyside Police and the Football Association after lashing out the fan.
A police statement said: “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.”
According to the FA’s guidelines on crowd management, Everton could also face disciplinary action as if it is found they “did not do enough to prevent and/or deal with the misconduct of spectators”. The FA does not have jurisdiction over individual spectators, which means disciplinary measures will be taken against the club, who in turn can punish fans.
In his post-match press conference, Vieira said he had “nothing to say about that”.
It is the latest incident of fan disorder in a week that a Nottingham Forrest season-ticket holder was handed a 24-week jail sentence for assaulting Sheffield United forward Billy Sharp.