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."

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