Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has defended Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier’s heated reaction to an abusive fan during Spurs’ FA Cup defeat at the hands of Norwich City.
Dier jumped over the hoardings and climbed into the stands to confront a fan who was allegedly arguing with his brother.
The police are currently probing the matter involving Dier and are also investigating a similar incident involving Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard in the Red Devils’ win against Derby in the FA Cup.
However, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard believes that players deserve ‘a lot of credit’ for ignoring abuse from fans and said that Dier’s reaction was but natural.
Speaking about both incidents, as quoted in the Mirror, Lampard said, “I didn’t see Lingard, but I thought it was a pretty natural reaction from Eric Dier,”
“I think if you asked the man or woman in the street, if one of your family members needed protection, your natural reaction would be to go there.”
“Because we are in the sport that we are in, I thought Jose Mourinho said it pretty well afterwards, you are not supposed to, not allowed to as such.”
“But when you talk about natural reactions, I understand it, particularly with a family member.”
“I didn’t see anything go beyond slightly heated, which is a good thing, so we will see how it is dealt with.”
“But I think it should be understood that if Eric Dier saw his brother in a situation, then I understand his thought process.”
When Lampard was asked if abuse has increased since his days as a player, the Chelsea manager responded saying:
“In the stadiums? No. I think it’s what it was. I took some abuse over the years, I have seen team-mates take abuse.”
“I know some of my family members and friends that have been in earshot of abuse, so I don’t think it has changed.”
“I think players should be given a lot of credit sometimes that they hold themselves in certain moments.” he added
However, with attempts made by leagues across Europe and in England to eradicate several other issues like racism and homophobia, Lampard said that other kinds of abuse go on unnoticed.
Speaking about the issues, Lampard said, “We talk about certain types of hate in the game and we analyse them, and then other types of hate seemingly are okay to say something to you or about your family,”
“I have heard all of that and sometimes you don’t pick up on it and it’s all okay because of the pantomime nature of football.”
“You walk into the stadium and you don’t live by the same rules you would live by in the street. I think that has not changed.”, he concluded.
Dier’s reaction perhaps crossed the line, but should the England international really be punished for attempting to defend his family from abuse?