It’s a big week for Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier, as he celebrates returning to the England squad for the first time in 18 months. However, Dier has taken the time to comment on the problem of abusive fans in English football.
Dier was last part of an England squad in March 2021, though he didn’t get any minutes during that international break. His last England appearance was in November 2020, in a 4-0 win against Iceland.
The 28-year-old has 45 England caps to his name so far (Transfermarkt), and will be hoping to add to that with the doubleheader of Nations League fixtures coming up against Italy and Germany.
If he can get on the pitch and impress Gareth Southgate at this stage, there’s every chance Dier will make it into the World Cup squad for the winter tournament in Qatar.
Speaking to the Daily Mail ahead of the England games, Dier touched on the topic of abusive fans around the grounds in English football.
He recalled an incident away at Chelsea recently, and the infamous Norwich 2020 that saw Dier fined and banned for four matches after jumping into the crowd to confront a fan who had been abusing his brother.
He said: “I had some family and friends at the Chelsea away game with Tottenham recently and they had problems and stuff. Not nice ones either. It is a huge, huge problem.
“It was verbal, not physical – but, like, bad stuff. I am not saying it is just Chelsea fans or Tottenham fans, it is football fans in general.
“I never complain about this stuff and I don’t really mind. I am not dramatic about this and I don’t think anybody should be. It is really not that big a deal for me. If it is in the right way, I love that side of things. But there are some things I find very strange. It is not nice.
‘[Some of] my family would never go to an away game now because of it. I feel too uncomfortable for them to go. This has been for years. My mum hasn’t been to an away game. She’d love to, but I would be worried about it – and that’s crazy, isn’t it?
“I wasn’t at all happy with the way that incident was handled. I don’t know what I can say about it because I don’t know if I’ll get banned or fined again or whatever. It wasn’t too dramatic like people make it out to be. But yeah, I don’t regret it at all and I’d do it again.
“[For] my family, my teammates, anyone, a friend of mine. I consider myself to be extremely loyal.”
Spurs Web Opinion
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of rivalry between opposing fans, but if that ever gets to the point where a player has to interject, and even tell their mother not to go to a game, then it has gone too far.
We’ve seen lots of incidents in the last year or two where fans have been incredibly abusive to players both on and off the pitch, and that kind of thing needs to stop before it creates an irreparable barrier between players and fans.
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