EFL

Fan jailed for 14 weeks, banned for 10 years after Grealish attack

By Sports Desk March 11, 2019

The Birmingham City fan who attacked Jack Grealish has been sentenced to 14 weeks in prison and handed a 10-year ban from football matches.

Paul Mitchell, of Rubery, Worcestershire, pleaded guilty to pitch invasion and assault after punching Aston Villa midfielder Grealish during the Second City derby at St Andrew's on Sunday.

Mitchell, 27, was also ordered to pay £350 in fines and is prohibited from attending games in the United Kingdom for the next decade.

The incident occurred just hours before a man ran across the field of play and pushed Manchester United defender Chris Smalling during their Premier League match against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

The Football Association has resolved to work with other authorities in order to provide greater protection for players and match officials.

"This weekend a line has been crossed in terms of fan behaviour," an FA spokesperson said in a statement.

"On Sunday we saw two separate incidents, at Birmingham City and Arsenal, of individuals entering the field of play and assaulting players.

"Not only is it an offence to enter the pitch, which could result in a club ban and criminal charges for the individual, but it also puts the safety of the players at risk.

"This is entirely unacceptable and we strongly condemn both incidents.

"We will be working with the clubs, the leagues and the police to discuss what collectively needs to be done to protect players and officials on the pitch.

"In addition, we have written to both Birmingham City and Arsenal to seek their observations to examine the security measures they had in place."

Related items

  • Zorc knows nothing of United interest in Sancho Zorc knows nothing of United interest in Sancho

    Borussia Dortmund director Michael Zorc says he does not know of any interest in Jadon Sancho from Manchester United.

    England winger Sancho has enjoyed a breakout season in the Bundesliga, establishing himself as one of Europe's top young stars with a string of standout displays.

    As well as Three Lions recognition, the 19-year-old has reportedly attracted the attention of potential suitors in the Premier League.

    Sancho, who left Manchester City for Dortmund in 2017, is said to be a target for United, yet Zorc is not interested in such speculation.

    "I have no knowledge of [United's interest]," Zorc told Bild. "But it has no relevance anyway."

    Zorc has previously insisted that Sancho will remain at Dortmund next season, even if he is likely to leave the German club eventually.

    Sancho, who has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, has eight goals in 26 league games this season.

  • France winger Coman ruled out of Iceland clash France winger Coman ruled out of Iceland clash

    Kingsley Coman has been ruled out of France's Euro 2020 qualifier against Iceland due to back pain, Didier Deschamps has confirmed.

    Bayern Munich winger Coman will return to his club as he is not fit to take part in Monday's Group E game at the Stade de France.

    Coman had been set to start the opening match of France's qualifying campaign against Moldova but was injured in the warm-up.

    The 22-year-old's career has been regularly affected by injury and he missed three months of action for Bayern after damaging ankle ligaments on the first weekend of the Bundesliga season.

    Deschamps told a news conference no replacement would be called up for Coman, with Blaise Matuidi having taken his place in the side for a 4-1 win in Moldova.

    World champions France are already without left-back Lucas Digne after he returned to Everton having sustained a thigh injury.

  • He's happy in Madrid – Umtiti not expecting Griezmann reunion at Barcelona He's happy in Madrid – Umtiti not expecting Griezmann reunion at Barcelona

    Barcelona and France centre-back Samuel Umtiti is not expecting his international colleague Antoine Griezmann to join him at Camp Nou, adamant he is happy at Atletico Madrid.

    Griezmann was heavily linked with a move to Barca last year, before committing his future to Atletico in June in a documentary-style video.

    Despite Griezmann ultimately rejecting Barca's pursuit in that saga, the speculation has resurfaced in recent weeks, suggesting the Catalans will go for him again at the end of the season.

    Umtiti knows Griezmann well, having played alongside him at international level for several years, and he is convinced the forward is content where he is, suggesting the 28-year-old could come to regret leaving if he makes that decision.

    "I know Antoine is very happy in Madrid, it's going well for him," Umtiti told TF1.

    "It's a team that plays for him, and after that, in a career there are choices that we can take and that we can regret.

    "I know he feels good there, but he could play in any club around the world because of his qualities, whether in Barcelona or elsewhere. He'd be happy and successful."

    Both Griezmann and Umtiti were key members of the France squad which won the World Cup last year, but the Barca defender has paid for that success physically.

    Recurring knee injuries – which he first suffered just before the tournament – have limited him to just nine LaLiga appearances this season, and he puts that down to pushing himself to be fit to play in Russia.

    "I took a risk at the World Cup," he added. "I absolutely wanted to play it because it is only played every four years and we do not necessarily play it many times in a career.

    "It was a dream that I realised, so I pushed a little on my knee and it has complicated things for this season, but I don't regret it.

    "Now my knee is ready, ready to play, but the coach has his choices to make. I feel good, I'm trying to get back to the rhythm after several months of inactivity.

    "It's a bit complicated, but it's with training and matches that I'm going to find the pace and feel good. I have good feelings and I feel better and better after each match matches."

    Both players are away on international duty with France, who will face Iceland on Monday.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.