Leeds fan arrested, banned for accosting Newcastle manager Eddie Howe during EPL game
LEEDS, England — A Leeds fan was arrested and handed a lifetime ban by the club after shoving Newcastle manager Eddie Howe during their English Premier League game on Saturday.
Howe didn't appear to be hurt in the incident in the third minute of stoppage time in an emotionally charged 2-2 draw at Elland Road.
“He confronted me, he said something that I can’t repeat, then he’s led away," Howe said.
“I’m OK. Moments like that do make you think — the safety of staff and players is paramount for me at any matches in the Premier League and Football League. We need to be mindful, security is so important."
The spectator trespassed into the technical area and initially grabbed Howe by his left arm, then jabbed at him and pushed him high in the chest. Howe looked shocked and appeared to shout something at the intruder, who was quickly led away by security as other members of Newcastle’s security staff complained.
Leeds said hours later the man was arrested and banned.
“I don’t know if I had time to be fearful because it was over in a flash but it certainly makes you think, ‘What if?'" Howe said.
“No one should have to face that, playing a sport we love and trying to entertain the country, no one should feel like their own personal safety is violated. It is something for us to reflect on.”
In February, a 35-year-old man was banned from attending soccer games for four years after pleading guilty to assaulting Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at the end of a match against Tottenham in January.
The man climbed over the advertising hoarding and kicked Ramsdale in the back shortly after the final whistle of Arsenal's 2-0 win. Ramsdale had gone behind one of the goals to pick up his water bottle.
There were a slew of incidents involving fans getting onto the field during the final weeks of last season in English soccer. One involved then-Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira getting involved in an altercation with a fan following a pitch invasion at Everton's Goodison Park.
It led to the Premier League increasing its punishments for anti-social behavior by fans.
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Steve Douglas, The Associated Press