If you thought Tottenham Hotspur losing at home to Norwich City in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup was bad enough, it got even more weird after the final whistle sounded. According to numerous reports on social media, Spurs utility defender/midfielder Eric Dier launched himself up into the stands at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to confront a Spurs fan.
There are plenty of videos on Twitter at the moment from fans who caught part of the incident on their cellphones, but here’s one angle from someone who was RIGHT THERE.
Eric Dier just came into the stand and had a fight with fan next to me pic.twitter.com/nMGVcDWegX— Jascha Selby (@jselby123) March 4, 2020
There are unsubstantiated, and I need to emphasize this for now — UNSUBSTANTIATED — reports from the stadium that Dier lept up into the stands to confront the fan because he overheard the fan racially abusing Gedson Fernandes after he missed what was the winning penalty kick for Norwich. Another report suggested that someone in the stands was abusing his actual, familial brother.
I really, really don’t want either to be the case, but something like that is one of the few things that I can imagine would provoke Eric Dier into flipping out and charging a Tottenham fan in the stands of his home stadium. Again, we don’t KNOW that a racism happened, but would it surprise me in a season where there was a banana peel thrown at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and (unconfirmed) reports of racist abuse hurled at Antonio Rudiger? No, it seriously would not.
This season needs to end.
UPDATE: After the match, Spurs manager Jose Mourinho seemed to give credence that there was at least some kind of nasty thing said within Dier’s earshot, and directed at Eric’s little brother.
UPDATE 2: Mourinho said it doesn’t appear that there was racism involved, which is relieving and unequivocally good in what appears to be a sea of bad.
UPDATE 3: One fan caught the entire incident from start to finish on their phones, and it looks like Dier saw exactly who the perpetrator was and made a beeline to them — watch the guy with the orange hood who beats a (very) hasty retreat. Doesn’t look like any punches were thrown, but I doubt that’s going to save him from a suspension from by the FA, unfortunately. #WeStandWithEric