'Disgraceful': Football world fumes over Patrick Vieira fan incident

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Seen on the right, Patrick Vieira kicks out at an Everton fan after being sworn at and taunted.
Patrick Vieira could be seen kicking out at the Everton fan who got up in his face and taunted the Crystal Palace manager. Pic: Getty/Sky Sports

Football fans are rallying behind Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira after he was involved in a shocking post-match incident with an Everton fan at at Goodison Park.

Vieira was walking across the pitch in the wake of his team's dramatic 3-2 defeat to Everton, when a home fan got in his face, hurling abuse and obscenities at the former Arsenal star.

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Palace threw away a 2-0 half-time lead in the second half, and the dramatic victory for the Toffees ensured their Premier League status for another season.

The delirious home fans descended onto the pitch after the final whistle to celebrate, but one fan approached Vieira and decided to unleash a volley of foul-mouthed taunts at the Frenchman.

The former Arsenal midfielder initially ignored the man, before turning to confront him, seeming to kick out before being ushered away by other Everton supporters.

Vieira could face sanction from the FA over the incident, however fans flooded social media in support of the Palace manager, insisting the unruly fan was completely out of line.

Frank Lampard sympathises with Patrick Vieira

Vieira refused to speak about the incident in his post-match media conference, though his opposite number Frank Lampard said he "felt" for the Frenchman being put in that situation.

"I feel for Patrick," the Everton boss said at his own media conference.

"I didn't get him at the end. I would have said, 'come in with us' – although he might not have wanted that.

"Of course he ran 80 yards across the pitch and it's not easy."

This was not the first unsavoury incident to take place in English football in the last week involving pitch invasions, with a Nottingham Forest fan being arrested and later jailed for assaulting Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp following Forest's penalty shoot-out win in the Championship playoff semi-finals on Tuesday.

There were further concerns raised about fans endangering players during pitch invasions after both League Two playoff games involving Mansfield Town and Northampton Town on Wednesday, and Swindon Town and Port Vale on Thursday.

On the fans coming onto the pitch, Lampard added: "It was pure elation of fans who have come on the pitch after avoiding relegation.

"If it is done in the right way let them stay on the pitch, let them have their moment. As long as they behave, no problem."

with agencies

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