Tuesday 24 April 2018

Everton identify and ban fan involved in player brawl during Lyon match

Players clash and fans are restrained after a challenge by Ashley Williams of Everton on Anthony Lopes of Lyon during the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Everton FC and Olympique Lyon at Goodison Park on October 19, 2017 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Players clash and fans are restrained after a challenge by Ashley Williams of Everton on Anthony Lopes of Lyon during the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Everton FC and Olympique Lyon at Goodison Park on October 19, 2017 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Jack de Menezes

Everton have identified and banned a fan who became involved in a player brawl during the 2-1 defeat by Lyon on Thursday night, with Uefa charging the Merseyside club with failing to control their supporters.

A rash challenge by Everton defender Ashley Williams on Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes led to a melee between both sets of players that spilled towards the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End stand, where fans were within touching distance of the brawl.

A club statement issued on Friday morning read: “Club officials have reviewed the footage of an incident that occurred in the 64th minute of the game against Olympique Lyonnaise where supporters towards the front of the lower Gwladys Street End became involved in a confrontation between players.

“We have identified one individual whom action will now be taken against. This will include a ban from attending future Everton fixtures and the club registering a formal complaint with Merseyside Police.”

The statement came just minutes after Merseyside Police confirmed they are investigating the incident.

The statement read: “Merseyside Police can confirm officers are investigating following a disturbance on the pitch during a football match between Everton and Lyon at Goodison Park last night, Thursday 19th October. Detectives will be reviewing footage and speaking to witnesses to establish what, if any, offences have been committed.

“Anyone with information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 4065 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Everton now face Uefa disciplinary action after the scrap between Ronald Koeman’s side and the Lyon players, which involved a man carrying a young child lashing out at the one of the French team’s players, was reported by the match official. Uefa have confirmed that Everton have been charged over the bahviour of their fans.

A number of players from both sides were pressed up against advertising hoardings, putting them in reach of the home fans, and television footage showed one man carrying a young child trying to reach the players while shouting aggressively towards them.

The man then appeared to lash out at Lucas Tousart’s face, before retreating as the Lyon players reacted.

The melee even involved Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who ran from one end of the pitch to the other to get involved, but despite the unsavoury scenes only Williams and Lyon match-winner Bertrand Traore were the only ones to be shown yellow cards.

Everton could face further action though, while both teams could face a charge of failing to control their players, and Williams could also land himself in hot water for the initial challenge and the ensuing clash with former Chelsea forward Traore.

However, Koeman refused to blame Williams for the scrap, and instead felt that his players had grown frustrated with referee Bas Nijhuis in what proved to be their third consecutive European match without a win.

“I think the irritation grows in the game for our players and in my opinion that was the problem by the referee,” Koeman argued.

“The referee was Dutch but he didn't do anything against the theatre of some of the Lyon players. (Nabil) Fekir in the first half dived 10 times.

“I understand with my players, that comes out of frustration.”

Independent News Service

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