‘We don’t need fences or walls’ - Farke on Grealish pitch invader fallout

PUBLISHED: 15:48 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:52 12 March 2019

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish was assaulted by a Birmingham City pitch invader in Sunday's 1-0 win for the visitors at St Andrew's Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish was assaulted by a Birmingham City pitch invader in Sunday's 1-0 win for the visitors at St Andrew's Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

Daniel Farke wants no return to fences in English football, following an assault on Jack Grealish in Sunday’s Championship derby at Birmingham City.

Grealish’s attacker was sentenced to 14 weeks by the courts on Monday, after racing onto the playing surface at St Andrew’s to confront the Aston Villa captain.

The FA and the EFL have both pledged to investigate the shocking incident, with calls to punish the Blues with a points deduction or to play some games behind closed doors, but Farke feels responsibility lies with the individual.

“One thing is for sure. It shouldn’t happen,” said Farke. “Football brings a lot of emotions and the supporters are passionate about their own team. Yes, there are moments when you are annoyed or frustrated and you don’t know how to handle this emotion. The most important thing is the safety of everyone in a football stadium, not just the players or the coaches but the fans. I like so much that in England we have this atmosphere we don’t need fences or walls. This is exactly how it should be, Football is for the fans. You shouldn’t be in cages.

“The behaviour has been outstanding in the last so many years. In many other countries, like Germany or Spain, you see supporters having to sit behind fences.

“Maybe that is because there have been instances in the past of people going on the pitch and not being disciplined.

“Yes, come and support your team and feel the love but you have to handle your emotions. We don’t need new fences or walls.”

A Hibs’ supporter jumped out of the crowd to confront Rangers’ captain James Tavernier last Friday, while an Arsenal fan raced onto the pitch in the Gunners’ Premier League win over Manchester United just hours after Grealish was punched on Sunday afternoon.

“There have been some recent incidents and that is sad and everyone involved in football needs to take responsibility for their own actions,” said Farke. “I have a lot of sympathy for the clubs.

“They try everything to control these situations. I wouldn’t say it is a mistake of the club. Try to influence the behaviour of the human being. If this is the only solution, by scaring supporters by what could happen to your club, then maybe people will start to think about it. I hope that moment is never reached.

“I still believe in humans taking care of their own behaviour and making it clear this behaviour is not acceptable.”

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