A 35-year-old man has been charged with assaulting Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale after their match with Tottenham Hotspur.
A statement from the Met Police read: “Joseph Watts, 35 (23.06.87) of Hackney was charged on Tuesday, 17 January with assault by beating, going onto an area adjacent to playing area and throwing a missile onto a football playing area, both contrary to the Football (Offences) Act 1991.
“He is due to appear at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 17 February.
“The Met’s Football Investigations Team were assisted in their inquiries by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.”
After referee Craig Pawson blew his whistle to end the game, Ramsdale appeared to go around the net to grab his water bottle. But a supporter climbed on a billboard and attempted to land what appeared to be a kick on the 24-year-old’s back.
Ramsdale, who was facing the other way, described it as an attempted “punch”.
A Tottenham statement read: “We are appalled by the behavior of a supporter that attempted to attack Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at the end of today’s match. Violence in any form has no place in football.
“The club will be working with the Met Police, Arsenal and Aaron Ramsdale to take the strongest possible action, including an immediate ban from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.”
The Premier League also released a statement on the incident, which said: “The Premier League condemns the behavior of a fan at the conclusion of the Tottenham Hotspur FC and Arsenal FC match this evening.
“There is no place in football for acts of violence, and under no circumstances should players be attacked or fear for their safety at games.
“The League will support the clubs and relevant authorities in taking the strongest possible action.”
Speaking about the incident, Ramsdale said to Sky Sports: “The Spurs fans gave me some throughout the game. I was giving some back. The people I did give it to greeted it sportsmanlike but one fan tried to give me a little punch on the back.
“It is a shame as it is just a game of football at the end of the day. Both sets of players tried to bring me away but thankfully nothing too drastic happened. It is a sour taste but I’m sure we will enjoy it when we go back into the dressing room.”
A statement from the Professional Footballers’ Association read: “Violence towards players is completely unacceptable. These types of incidents are happening far too often.
“Players have a right to be safe in their place of work. When a player is attacked we expect the laws and regulations that are in place to protect them to be properly enforced. We will be continuing to work with the authorities to demand that players and staff are better protected in their place of work.”
The FA also added in a statement: “We strongly condemn the incident involving a spectator that followed today’s Premier League fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
“This is totally unacceptable behavior and we will work together with the police, the relevant authorities and the clubs to ensure the appropriate action is taken.”
An own goal from Hugo Lloris and a long-range effort from Martin Odegaard secured the three points for Arteta’s side, who have now moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Arsenal play Manchester United next on January 22.
(Photo: Getty Images)