Eric Dier will miss Tottenham’s next four matches after an independent panel ruled his behaviour in entering the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium stands “objectively threatening”.
Dier jumped over the advertising hoards and into the stands after Spurs’ FA Cup defeat to Norwich in March.
As well as the ban, the Football Association have fined Dier £40,000 following a charge of misconduct.
Dier saw his brother involved in an altercation with a fan and raced to his aid. There was no physical exchange and the Metropolitan Police, despite a brief investigation, did not pursue the incident.
The 26-year-old accepted the misconduct charge, but denied his behaviour was threatening. He also argued his intention was only to protect his brother Patrick.
The spectator involved told police in a statement that he was acting like “an idiot” and did not feel threatened.
However, the panel chose not to believe the statement, which Dier’s solicitor chose to release. Instead, the panel decided the fan was scared based on video footage.
PANEL ‘SATISFIED’ ABOUT DIER CHARGE
The written reasons from the panel in the case read: “We are quite satisfied on the balance of probabilities, that Eric Diers’s conduct in (1) chasing the spectator through the well populated stand; (2) passing through supporters; (3) causing some to move out of his way; (4) over the distance; (5) for the time; and (6) in the manner he did, was objectively threatening.
“We appreciate some filmed the incident and others simply watched. But, that of itself does not prevent it being, when viewed objectively, threatening.
“His conduct caused or contributed to the spectator fleeing. It is also no doubt why a number of people held him back from exit 103 and stopped him from pursuing the fleeing spectator.
“Eric Dier’s conduct may not have been threatening to those holding him back, but we are satisfied it was threatening towards the spectator, and also when viewed objectively.”
The footage showed the fan racing towards an exit as the England international climbed the stands. Another piece of footage, which appears pivotal, captured Dier approaching the fan rather than his brother.
The panel ruled that the aggravating factors included the distance Dier travelled through a stand heavily populated by spectators.
They referenced the fact that Dier pursued the spectator after he had moved away and posed no threat to the player’s brother. The panel also considered Dier’s status as a high-profile Spurs footballer.
DIER’S STRONG STATEMENT
Dier said in a statement during the disciplinary process: “I instinctively jumped over the barrier and began climbing the rows of seats towards Patrick and the three men.
“All that was going through my mind was that I must protect Patrick. In hindsight I feel even more responsible for his safety. He had gone to the game to support me, and he had become upset by the personal abuse being yelled at me, and that had led him into this situation.
“At no point did I say or do anything in a threatening way. Had I reached the supporter and the other two men at any time, my priority was to get to Patrick and get him away from the situation.
“Had I had the opportunity I would have also asked the supporter why he was abusing me in that manner.
“I have never had any problem with strong criticism of me as a footballer from the stands and football is all about opinions; that is one of the reasons I love it so much. However, any kind of abuse which is personal and vitriolic I find unacceptable and would be unacceptable anywhere.”
Tottenham face struggling Bournemouth on Thursday followed by the north London derby with Arsenal.
After that, Spurs end their campaign with matches against Newcastle, Leicester and Crystal Palace.