Ramsdale attacked by fan after north London derby

    Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was led away from the area after an altercation with a fan

    Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was attacked by a supporter after the north London derby against Tottenham.

    “The Spurs fans gave me some throughout the game. I was giving some back,” said Ramsdale, who was unhurt by the kick.

    “The people I did give it to greeted it in sportsmanlike terms, but one fan tried to give me a little punch on the back.”

    Ramsdale had been instrumental as the Gunners won away at their nearest rivals to move eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.

    As the final whistle went, Ramsdale celebrated by kissing his badge and there was a brief exchange with Spurs forward Richarlison. Ramsdale then went to gather his water bottle when a supporter from behind the goal housing Tottenham fans rushed forward and aimed a kick at the England international before climbing back over a number of rows of seats.

    “It’s a shame as it’s just a game of football at the end of the day,” Ramsdale, 24, told Sky Sports after the match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

    “Both sets of players tried to bring me away but thankfully nothing too drastic happened. It’s a sour taste but I’m sure we will enjoy it when we go back into the dressing room.”

    The Professional Footballers’ Association said “violence towards players is completely unacceptable”.

    “These incidents are happening far too often. Players have a right to be safe in their place of work,” said a PFA statement.

    “When a player is attacked, we expect the laws and regulations that are in place to protect players to be properly enforced.

    “As the players’ union, we treat this as a priority issue. We will continue working with the authorities to demand players and staff are better protected in their place of work.”

    Spurs said the fan would face an “immediate ban”.

    “We are appalled by the behaviour of a supporter that attempted to attack Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at the end of today’s match,” said a Spurs statement.

    “Violence in any form has no place in football.

    “The club has reviewed its CCTV footage to identify the supporter and will be working with the Met Police, Arsenal and Aaron Ramsdale to take the strongest possible action, including an immediate ban from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.”

    A statement from the Football Association said: “We strongly condemn the incident involving a spectator that followed today’s Premier League fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

    “This is wholly unacceptable behaviour and we will work together with the police, the relevant authorities and the clubs to ensure the appropriate action is taken.”

    Match of the Day 2 pundit Alan Shearer said: “He’ll be banned for life from a football stadium and so he should be – unacceptable.”

    Tottenham defender Eric Dier added: “I didn’t see it but obviously it is unacceptable and it shouldn’t have happened. There’s nothing more I can say.”

    Last week Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the UK’s Football Policing Unit lead, said there is a “worrying level of disorder” at football matches after a report showed 999 arrests were made between 1 July and 31 December 2022, a 10% increase on the same period last year.

    Last season – the 2021-22 campaign – there were 2,198 football-related arrests, the highest number since the 2013-14 season, according to Home Office figures.

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