England Women’s team manager Phil Neville has had his say on the shocking incidents this weekend at three different football matches across Britain.
And Neville believes that strong action is necessary to prevent
The former Manchester United and Everton man raised the case of Monica Seles, who was stabbed on the tennis court by an obsessive fan in 1993.
“We have reached the point where banning individuals for going on the pitch is simply not enough of a punishment,” Neville told the BBC.
“Drastic action is needed – either through points deductions or by emptying stadiums and making clubs play behind closed doors.
“I don’t want to over-dramatise things, but everyone remembers what happened to the tennis player Monica Seles, who was stabbed on
"We need to start protecting players properly because all it takes is for one of these people who
The Lionesses boss thinks this part of a wider trend of poor behaviour at football
“I have seen many incidents this season that
“In the past few months, there have been displays of racism at grounds, with a banana thrown towards Arsenal players after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had scored in the north London derby and derogatory chanting about the Pakistani community during the Millwall versus Everton FA Cup tie
“Homophobic abuse is a problem too, and now we have had these attacks and confrontations from people running on to the pitch.
“One of my players in the England women team, Karen Carney, received death threats last year. It was disgusting, but that just
Neville also recounted a scary incident from his own playing days.
“It happened to me when I was playing for Everton in a Merseyside derby in 2008. I was taking a throw at Anfield, and I got a punch in the back from a Liverpool fan.
“At the time I thought nothing of it and I just got on with the game. It was not until I came off afterwards that I thought that jab in the back could have been something else – and he could have had a weapon in his hand.”