Everton ban fan who attacked Lyon player while holding child

Everton’s English-born Welsh defender Ashley Williams, left, is kept apart as players clash during the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Everton and Lyon at Goodison Park, in Liverpool on October 19, 2017. (File photo by AFP)
Updated 20 October 2017
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Everton ban fan who attacked Lyon player while holding child

LONDON: Everton on Friday banned a fan who appeared to try and strike a Lyon player while holding a child during their Europa League tie as police probed crowd trouble at Goodison Park.
Thursday’s ugly scenes erupted after Ashley Williams barged into Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes midway through the second half of the 2-1 victory for the away side, sparking a melee.
That skirmish moved to pitch-side advertising hoardings, at which point a man carrying a child pushed Lopes in the head before hitting out at him again.
“Club officials have reviewed the footage of an incident that occurred in the 64th minute of the game against Olympique Lyonnais where supporters toward the front of the lower Gwladys Street End became involved in a confrontation between players,” Everton said in a statement.
“We have identified one individual whom action will now be taken against. This will include a ban from attending future Everton fixtures and the club registering a formal complaint with Merseyside Police.”
The police issued their own statement, which confirmed they were also looking into the matter.
“Merseyside Police can confirm officers are investigating following a disturbance on the pitch during a football match between Everton and Lyon at Goodison Park last night, Thursday 19th October,” they said in a statement.
“Detectives will be reviewing footage and speaking to witnesses to establish what, if any, offenses have been committed.”
European governing body UEFA is likely to take action after the skirmish and both Everton and their defender Williams, who was captain for the match, could face sanctions.
Williams instigated the ugly scenes when he shoved Lopes off the pitch as the goalkeeper went up to make a catch on the byline.
Numerous Lyon players reacted angrily and a fracas broke out involving players from both sides, with the trouble even spilling into the crowd as the huddle reached the advertising hoardings.
Williams was booked for his role and appeared fortunate to escape with just a caution as replays showed he raised his hands to Lucas Tousart’s face.
“It’s what happens, it’s football. It is what it is,” said Williams after the game. “It’s high emotions. We want to win the game, they want to win the game and stuff happens. That was just one of those times.”
Toffees manager Ronald Koeman blamed referee Bas Nijhuis for his players losing their cool during a defeat that leaves Everton facing Europa League elimination after just one point from three games.
“I think the irritation grows in the game for our players and in my opinion that was the problem by the referee,” Koeman said.
“The referee was Dutch but he didn’t do anything against the theater of some of the Lyon players. (Nabil) Fekir in the first half dived 10 times. I understand with my players, that comes out of frustration.”
It compounded another miserable night for Everton and Koeman, who is under mounting pressure with his team having won just two of their previous 12 fixtures.


‘My feelings? Mixed’: Sebastian Vettel clings on in desperate Lewis Hamilton pursuit as Kimi Raikonnen wins US Grand Prix

Updated 22 October 2018
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‘My feelings? Mixed’: Sebastian Vettel clings on in desperate Lewis Hamilton pursuit as Kimi Raikonnen wins US Grand Prix

AUSTIN: Sebastian Vettel said he felt mixed emotions after keeping his slender title challenge alive by finishing fourth in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, won by Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
The four-time champion, who started fifth on the grid after taking a three-place penalty, recovered from an opening lap spin to fight through the field in a tactical contest that left Lewis Hamilton frustrated in his bid to clinch his fifth drivers world title.
“My feelings? Mixed,” he said. “Happy. Really happy for Kimi. But not much for me. It should have been a better day.”
Vettel can only stop Hamilton taking his fifth drivers title next weekend in Mexico by winning the race and hoping Hamilton hits problems that keep him out of the top seven places.
He said he suffered a major blow when he clashed with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap.
“I must have been in his blind spot. I’m not sure he saw me. The corner kept tightening and we hit. It was a big loss for me.”
Vettel’s disappointment took nothing away from a resurgent Ferrari’s satisfaction in recovering their mid-season pace, after abandoning several recent upgrades, and claiming a revitalising victory.
“I am very proud of them all,” said Ferrari team chief Maurizio Arrivabene.
“I was always proud of the guys and even more when we are winning races. It’s been hard for us recently and we had a race engineer pass away last weekend.... I have nothing more to add. It was great today. Thank you USA!“
Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff admitted that Ferrari had been faster than his team, as he had feared.
“We lacked the pace and I said don’t close it too early. They are very fast. Kimi winning is great for him and for Ferrari, so let’s go to the next race in Mexico now.
“It was difficult to overtake, but for us it was a strategy that got worse as it progressed. We need to re-think and see what we can do better. We put on a good show altogether and that’s what’s more important.”