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EPL 2021-22: 2 fans charged by GMP for pitch invasion during Man City's title win at Etihad

Manchester City won the 2021-22 EPL on Sunday. After the win, City fans invaded the pitch, leading to violence, as a couple of fans were charged.

EPL 2021-22, English Premier League: 2 fans charged by GMP Greater Manchester Police for pitch invasion during Man City title win at Etihad Stadium-ayh
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Manchester, First Published May 23, 2022, 3:28 PM IST

It was rejoicing for Manchester City as it retained its crown as the English Premier League (EPL) 2021-22 champion. It defeated Aston Villa 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium, much to the delight of the club supporters. After the final whistle, the fans ran onto the pitch just like every other time to celebrate City's triumph with the players. However, it has been reported that some violence occurred during the pitch invasion, with Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen being allegedly attacked. As a result, City issued an apology, while an investigation was launched into the same. In the meantime, the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has charged a couple of fans.

A statement released by GMP read, "Two football fans have been charged following Manchester City's Premier League game with Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium yesterday (22 May 2022). Phillip Maxwell (01/04/94), of Anzio Row, Knowsley, has been charged with throwing a missile (pyrotechnic) onto the pitch and will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court on 23 May 2022."

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"Paul Colbridge (17/08/84), of Whitegate Drive, Salford, has been charged with going onto the pitch and will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court on 7 June 2022. Both have been bailed ahead of the court appearances. Enquiries into the reported assault of a player on the pitch after the final whistle are ongoing with officers working in partnership with both football clubs," added the release.

Meanwhile, City has affirmed that a life ban would be handed to the persons found guilty of Olsen's attack. Former Manchester United and English defender Gary Neville criticised the invasion, along with his former club teammate Roy Keane. "Running on the pitch, they've won the league, they're delirious, I get that, but attacking the opposition players on the pitch – where has this come from, why is happening? I've got no idea. It's ridiculous," wondered Neville.

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In contrast, Keane added, "A player or a manager will be seriously injured. If you're mad enough to punch a player, you're going to be mad enough to do something stupid like stab a player. I think people have come back after COVID and forgotten how to behave themselves. Idiots, scumbags, disgrace. Disgraceful."

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