Eric Dier believes football has a “serious problem” with fan behavior and reveals he has told his mum she can no longer travel to see his games.
The Tottenham defender was involved in a confrontation with a supporter following an FA Cup defeat by Norwich in March 2020 and climbed into the stands after the fan argued with Dier’s brother.
He was charged by the Football Association and eventually received a four-game ban and a £40,000 fine.
He also revealed further insults against his brother in the recent 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge from both Chelsea and Spurs supporters.
These hot spots have given Dier, 28, a negative outlook on the general behavior of fans attending soccer games.
“I’ve never talked about this situation in the press before because, to be honest, I wasn’t at all happy with the way it was handled,” he said, stepping into the stands two and a half years ago.
“I don’t know what to say about that because I don’t know if I’ll be banned again or fined or whatever.
“It wasn’t as dramatic as people make it out to be. But I don’t regret it at all and would do it again – (for) my family, my teammates, anyone, a friend of mine. I consider myself very loyal.
“(Fan behavior) has definitely deteriorated. For me it is a serious problem. I had some family and friends at Chelsea’s away game against Tottenham and they had problems and stuff.
“I wanted to emphasize that it was both groups of fans – I’m not saying it’s Chelsea fans or Tottenham fans, it’s football fans in general.”
Dier believes there can be some level of interaction with rival fans, but finds it “crazy” that his mother needs to be kept away should it escalate.
“I never complain about this stuff and I don’t mind. We played Burnley after I went into the stands for the next away game and the Burnley fans sang a song about my brother and I like that kind of thing – I think it’s pretty funny,” he added.
“I like that kind of humor, you know, when it’s right.
“But there are some things that I find very strange. It’s not nice. My family would never go to an away game because of that – and it’s a shame that I feel too uncomfortable when they go to away games.
“It has been for years. My mother has never been to an away game. She’d love to do it, but I’d be worried – and that’s crazy, isn’t it?
“All of our families are going through this. Every player’s parents have been watching them since they were kids and going through stuff like that.”
Dier spoke about his return to the England squad after last representing the Three Lions in November 2020.
Now he has his eye on the roll of honor at St George’s Park and is looking to add to his 45 caps.
“Not going to the European Championships, maybe I didn’t know at that point what would happen afterwards. I never really thought about it,” he said.
“I always thought it might take a while as I’d have to play consistently well for a long time to maybe get back in, but I’m just focused on playing well for Tottenham and focusing on the things I can control .
“It (reaching 50 caps) would mean a lot. When I wasn’t in the squad, I thought about how close I was. That annoyed me.
“I would love to be able to reach a milestone like that. I saw that they now have a board at the hotel reception with all the people who made 50 and 100. It is a dream to be able to achieve that.”
Dier offered to “sit down with everyone and go through each game” of a spell in which the general consensus was that he was struggling for form.
He is now playing at what he considers the “best level” of his career as he praised the influence of Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.
“I don’t want to sound like a teacher’s pet, but he’s done a lot for me,” he added.
“I learned a lot tactically. Obviously there’s a lot of emphasis on that with him and I’ve learned so much, different things tactically.
“He’s the godfather of that system, so I feel like you’re constantly learning with him and evolving within that system and adding new things all the time.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/eric-dier-england-norwich-burnley-football-association-b2171628.html Spectator behavior is a serious problem in football – Eric Dier