A fan attending the English Championship between rivals Aston Villa and Birmingham ran onto the field during the soccer match on Sunday and threw a punch at one of the players.
Aston Villa team captain Jack Grealish had his back turned when a Birmingham fan ran onto the field and sucker punched him nine minutes into the game. Grealish’s teammates rushed to intercept the attacker. Video of the incident appears to show the attacker blowing a kiss to the crowd as security escorted him off the field.
Mitchell was taken into custody and charged for invading the field and attacking Grealish. He is set to appear in court on Monday, according to Sky Sports. Grealish, who continued playing after the incident, went on to score the game-winning goal in the second half of the game.
NBC Sports described the rivalry between the two teams as a “bitter, bitter match-up,” adding that the scene “utterly shames English football.” Following the game, Grealish told ESPN, “Obviously there is rivalry in football, but I don’t think there is any place for that.”
Birmingham City Football Club released a statement apologizing to Grealish and Aston Villa, adding that the fan would be banned from St. Andrews, the stadium where the team plays, for life.
Later on Sunday at a different match-up, a fan ran onto the field during a Manchester United and Arsenal game at Emirates Stadium. The fan shoved Manchester United defender Chris Smalling. The attacker was arrested and taken into custody.