PFA Statement: Jack Grealish attacked

Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish assaulted by spectator

The PFA condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of the individual who has encroached on the field of play and attacked Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

There needs to be a full inquiry into the incident to ascertain why in a fixture with such a charged history, a fan was able to run onto the pitch virtually unchallenged and assault a player.

The PFA is concerned that we've seen elements of this type of behaviour coming back into the game, with several high-profile crowd related issues this season. Today’s attack follows a similar incident in the Scottish Premiership on Friday, when a fan confronted Rangers' captain James Tavernier.

Over the last few decades there has been a great improvement in matchday security however incidents like this demonstrate certain problems have not been eradicated and that players can be particularly vulnerable.

We must address issues of violence and player safety – this should include continued efforts with regards to education but be underpinned by strong punishments and sanctions.