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5 Mar, 2020 11:04

'I understand him': Mourinho backs Eric Dier after Spurs star climbs into stands to confront 'abusive' supporter (VIDEO)

'I understand him': Mourinho backs Eric Dier after Spurs star climbs into stands to confront 'abusive' supporter (VIDEO)

Tottenham and England midfielder Eric Dier is being investigated by the FA after he entered the stands to confront a supporter who had allegedly insulted his family following his side's FA Cup exit to Norwich on Wednesday.

Dier was captured on video jogging alongside the touchline after the game, before leaping over the pitch-side advertisements into a section of the stadium holding the Tottenham support and attempting to approach a fan who had allegedly been hurling abuse at Dier or members of his family, according to reports. 

The 40-times capped midfielder was unable to reach the supporter in question because he was restrained by other fans before he was ushered towards the pitch by stewards.

Speaking after the incident, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho said that he wouldn't defend Dier's actions but that he understood why the player had acted in the manner that he did.

"I cannot run away from the question and I think Eric Dier did something that we professionals cannot but, in these circumstances, something that every one of us would do," Mourinho said.

"When someone insults you and your family is there, and your family gets involved with the person that is insulting you, in this case your younger brother, I think Eric did what we professionals cannot but, I repeat, probably every one of us would do.

"I am with the player and understand the player."

Mourinho added that if the club acts to punish Dier, he would not "agree".



Dier's actions are the latest instance of football players objecting to the actions and chants of some of their supporters. Various leagues in Europe - perhaps most notably Serie A - have been blighted by racist chanting from the stands, which has prompted some players to react angrily. 

Also on rt.com Go f*ck yourselves: Moussa Marega’s defiance should be celebrated as watershed in ugly fight against racism

In Dier's case, the notoriously hard-nosed holding midfielder likely isn't the type of person fans would be advised to trifle with as he seems his combative nature on the pitch is mirrored in his personality. 

Of course, the act of football players entering supporters sections isn't often a productive endeavor. Manchester United's Eric Cantona was famously banned for several months in 1995 for assaulting a supporter during a game against Crystal Palace. 

Dier certainly stopped short of any similar measure of revenge and will surely feel the wrath of the footballing authorities in England, but it is a strange precedent to set to suggest that players have little to no recourse available to them when dealing with the often racist or homophobic verses sung from stands. 


No one is suggesting that players have the right to enter the stands - just as fans cannot enter the pitch - but that can't come at the cost of disarming a player's right to stand up against racism, or in Dier's case, defend a member of his family. 

Dier's wrist will, and should, be slapped. The fan? If allegations prove to be true, a lifetime ban is the only acceptable measure.