The Football Association has “strongly condemned” the incident when Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was attacked by a fan following his side’s win over Tottenham in the north London derby.
After Arsenal’s 2-0 win, a spectator jumped onto the billboards behind the goal and tried to kick Ramsdale in the back.
“We strongly condemn the involvement of a spectator watching the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal today,” the English Football Association said in a statement.
This is absolutely unacceptable behavior and we will work with the police, relevant authorities and clubs to ensure that appropriate action is taken.”
Tottenham said they were already reviewing CCTV footage to identify fans and would take “the strongest possible action”, including an “immediate” stadium ban.
“We are appalled by the behavior of a fan who tried to attack Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at the end of today’s game,” the club said in a statement.
“There is no form of violence in football.”
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Sunday evening: “After the Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal match on Sunday, January 15, police received a report of an attack on an Arsenal player after the match was over.
“Investigations continue. No arrests have been made.”
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Ramsdale told Sky Sports: “The Spurs fans gave me a little bit during the second half and I gave them a little bit back, it was probably well received for the few I did, it was kind of like sportsmanship.
“Then a fan jumped on me and tried to punch me in the back. That’s what happened and it’s a shame because at the end of the day it’s just a football game.
“I think both groups of players tried to push me away. Fortunately, nothing was really too harsh. It tastes sour, but I’m sure we’ll enjoy the taste when we get back to the locker room.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who claims he did not see the incident, was asked if he was worried about players being attacked so easily.
“We’ll take care of that,” Arteta said. “There’s nothing we can do right now. I don’t want this to take 0.0001 percent of the pleasure and satisfaction we have now. We’ll deal with that tomorrow.”
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte said: “If that’s the case, it’s not good.
“It is always better for the opponent, for the players, to be able to show respect all the time. If it did, I didn’t like it.
Tottenham defender Eric Dier, who was suspended for four games for stepping into the crowd and confronting an abusive audience after losing to Norwich in the 2020 FA Cup, called the Ramsdale incident “unacceptable”.
He told Sky Sports: “I haven’t seen it, but frankly this is really unacceptable. There is nothing more I can say other than that this is unacceptable and should not be.”
The Premier League said in a statement: “The Premier League condemns the behavior of a fan at the end of tonight’s Tottenham Hotspur FC vs Arsenal FC game.
“There is no place for acts of violence in football and under no circumstances should players be attacked or feared for their safety in games.
“The league will support clubs and relevant officials to take the strongest possible action against those responsible.”
After the incident, the Professional Footballers’ Association made a statement on its Twitter account, “Violence against players is absolutely unacceptable. Such events happen very often.
“Gamers have the right to be safe at work. When a player is attacked, we expect the laws and regulations in force to be properly applied to protect them.
“As the players’ union, we take this as a priority issue. We will continue to work with the authorities to demand better protection of players and staff at work.”
Former Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp, who works as a Sky Sports commentator, said: “For a Spurs fan, this is completely unacceptable.
“It’s part of football, you’re always going to get some sticks. But it’s totally unacceptable for a fan to come and try to kick a player on the pitch.
“I’m sure the Spurs will act accordingly. That guy shouldn’t be allowed into a football stadium. It’s totally broken.”