Jack Grealish punched: PFA chief Gordon Taylor urges players to not ‘incite the crowd’ with goal celebrations

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Grealish was struck around the back of the head during Sunday’s Second City derby, with Paul Mitchell later jailed for 14 weeks for the assault

Footballers must NOT incite watching supporters with their celebrations, PFA chief Gordon Taylor has claimed.

Taylor has spoken in the wake of violent incidents towards players from fans which took place on Sunday, with Jack Grealish, the Aston Villa midfielder, punched during the Second City derby and Manchester United’s Chris Smalling later shoved by a pitch invader.

Grealish was struck by a Paul Mitchell, who has since been jailed

Grealish was struck by a Paul Mitchell, who has since been jailed

Birmingham City fan Paul Mitchell has since been jailed for 14 weeks for his assault on Grealish.

Taylor, who has been the Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive since 1981, does not blame players for recent outbreaks of violence, though he does suggest they should take care not to push fans over the edge with provocative celebrations on the pitch.

“What we saw was disgraceful, cowardly and criminal,” Taylor was quoted by The Sun. “There must be severe action.

Gordon Taylor has spoken out about the recent spate of fan violence

Gordon Taylor has spoken out about the recent spate of fan violence

“The eyes of the world are on us and there’s a responsibility on young players in the way they play the game.

“We have to be careful and not incite the crowd in the way goals are celebrated, to try to keep a lid on it and make sure things don’t boil over.”

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  • Reading vs Leeds (Tuesday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Bayern Munich vs Liverpool (Wednesday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa (Wednesday) – talkSPORT 2
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  • West Ham vs Huddersfield (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Swansea vs Manchester City (Saturday) – talkSPORT
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  • Fulham vs Liverpool (Sunday) – talkSPORT

The PFA, FA and league governing bodies are expected to meet in due course to discuss solutions for the increasing

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