FA torn on whether to charge Dier following altercation with a fan in the stands
LONDON – The FA are conflicted over whether they should charge Eric Dier for his confrontation with a fan following Tottenham’s FA Cup exit.
The governing body have launched an investigation into the extraordinary scenes after Spurs’ fifth-round defeat by Norwich, when Dier clambered over rows of seats to drag away younger brother Patrick from a bust-up with a fan. The FA will seek observations from Spurs — who began their own probe straight after Wednesday’s penalty shootout loss — and Dier before deciding whether to take any action.
Midfielder Dier reacted angrily after spotting his brother involved in a row.
That had started when Patrick took exception to Dier being insulted by a Tottenham fan. Given the circumstances, manager
Jose Mourinho believes Spurs would be wrong to take disciplinary action against Dier. There are also concerns at Spurs about the message it would send out if a player ended up in hot water with the FA for protecting their family following offensive behaviour.
Witnesses describe the abuse being hurled by supporters near the tunnel towards Spurs players — including Dier — and staff as ‘horrendous’.
As he looked up towards his family, Dier spotted the fan, wearing a black and orange coat, gesturing towards him. He ignored him initially and continued heading for the tunnel. When he looked up a second time and saw that a spat had broken out between his brother and the fan, Dier climbed into the stand.
Other witnesses, alerted by the commotion having vacated that section, saw Dier with his arm around his brother, dragging him away.
Dier was ushered away by bystanders, stewards and security staff through a door at the back of the stand.
Patrick Dier joined the midfielder in the home dressing room as Spurs began trying to piece together what had happened.
Spurs’ probe continued yesterday as they gathered further witness accounts and reviewed CCTV footage.
The club are confident they know the supporter’s identity and intend to speak to him as part of their investigation.