By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 23 May 2022 • 9:42
Two charged after assaulting Villa goalkeeper following Manchester City's Premier League win
The FA says it is “very concerned” with the series of incidents that have taken place this week during end-of-season pitch invasions, with former players believing it won’t take long before someone is seriously hurt.
During the pitch invasion, Aston Villa’s goalkeeper Robin Olsen was attacked by fans, resulting in Sky pundits Gary Neville and Roy Keane calling the perpetrators “idiots” and “scumbags”.
Video shows Robin Olsen being slapped on the back of the head by one fan, pushed by another, before a third man apparently hits him in the face, though it’s unclear if it was intentional.
Aston Villa said Olsen was “completely fine” after taking a “bang on the back of the head,” but they said they wouldn’t be making a complaint.
But police have taken action following the ugly scenes with Phillip Maxwell, of Anzio Row, Knowsley, charged with throwing a missile (pyrotechnic) onto the pitch and will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court today.
Paul Colbridge, of Whitegate Drive, Salford, has been charged with going onto the pitch and will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on 7 June 2022.
Both have been bailed ahead of the court appearances.
The Manchester Met Police have said they are still investigating the assault of the goalkeeper and are working with both clubs to identify and charge the individuals concerned.
The incident follows recent invasions that include a Sheffield United fan headbutting Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira.
Former Manchester United stars Neville and Keane said it was deeply concerning, saying: “Running on the pitch is obviously delirious – they’ve won the league – so I get that.
“But attacking the opposition players on the pitch, where has this come from? Why is it happening? It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Manchester City have apologised to Olsen and have confirmed they are working with the police to identify and hold the perpetrators responsible.
The FA have called on clubs to deal with anti-social behaviour following the recent assaults and the one on the Villa goalkeeper following Manchester City’s Premier League win
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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