Football: Fan arrested after attack on Forest players during FA Cup win over Leicester

Leicester said in a statement that the attacker would be subject to a lifetime ban from all Leicester City fixtures. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP, REUTERS) - British police said a man has been arrested after a fan ran on to the pitch and attacked Nottingham Forest players celebrating a goal during their 4-1 FA Cup win against Leicester.

Footage posted on social media showed a supporter throwing punches at Forest players as they celebrated their third goal in the 32nd minute of the game at the City Ground, before he was hauled down by two stewards.

In a statement issued after Sunday's (Feb 6) match, Leicester said: "The club is appalled by such behaviour and offers its apologies to Nottingham Forest and its players, whose safety was compromised.

"We applaud the swift action taken by City Ground stewards in apprehending the individual involved, who will be subject to a lifetime ban from all Leicester City fixtures at home and away.

"We will offer every support to the relevant authorities in pursuing further appropriate action."

Nottinghamshire Police later confirmed that a man had been arrested in connection with the incident.

"Investigations are in the very early stages and our enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident are ongoing," a statement read.

It was the first meeting between the rivals for eight years and 4,000 Leicester fans made the short trip for the eagerly-awaited tie at a sold-out City Ground.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers blamed a lack of respect for an increase in violent acts by supporters this season.

Recent figures show there were 802 football-related arrests in the second half of 2021 in English domestic football. That is up nearly 50 per cent from the figure of 547 in 2019-20, before the coronavirus took hold and fans were locked out of stadiums.

Asked about the incident, Rodgers said: "It's behaviour we do not want to see. The field has to be a safe environment, we must always retain the respect in football and unfortunately the guy has come onto the pitch.

"The rules of society have changed - there's no respect. People feel entitled to think they can do these things. We can't have that lack of respect."

Former Leicester striker and now BBC Sport presenter Gary Lineker described the fan as a "disgrace".

"Whoever that so-called fan was who ran on to the pitch throwing punches at @NFFC's players should be banned for life by #LCFC. An embarrassment and a disgrace," he said on Twitter.

The incident rounded off a terrible day on and off the pitch for the FA Cup holders as they were soundly beaten by the Championship side.

Rodgers admitted he was "embarrassed" after his FA Cup holders capitulated to their second-tier Midlands rivals.

Leicester's defence fell apart as they conceded three goals in a 10-minute spell in the first half and although Kelechi Iheanacho pulled a goal back, Forest scored a fourth after the break and could have won by more.

It was all a stark contrast to May, when Leicester beat Chelsea at Wembley to win the FA Cup for the first time and Rodgers did not hold back in criticising his players.

"It was an awful performance and first of all, I have to apologise to the fans, we needed physicality and authority and lacked it," Rodgers said. "There was a lack of hunger and you get destabilised when you make errors.

"That's the first time since I've been here that I was embarrassed.

"We brought the FA Cup into the team room (before the game) so they could see what we went through last year and provide that motivation.

"We still have a big part of the season to go and hopefully the players can go away and reflect on that. I can't mask it, it's a huge blow. The basics and fundamentals were not there."

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