Newcastle manager Eddie Howe raised major concerns about the safety of staff and players after he was shoved by a fan in the technical area during the 2-2 draw at Elland Road.
Howe was grabbed then pushed in the chest during stoppage-time, with the Football Association set to launch an investigation into the disturbing incident. The supporter, who was taken away by two members of security, had insulted Howe during the flashpoint.
“It was just such a strange thing. You’re concentrating on the game, it’s not something you expect to happen,” said Howe. “He confronted me, he said something that I can’t repeat, then he’s led away.
“I’m OK. But I think moments like that do make you think. The safety of staff, players, is paramount for me in the Premier League or any matches in the Football League. We need to be mindful. Security is so important.
“I don’t know if I had time to be fearful, to be honest, because it was over in a flash. It certainly makes you think, what if’s. Moments like this should hopefully make people analyse things and see how we can improve safety for staff and players.
Howe appeared shocked when the supporter confronted him in the technical area, although he says he did not remember the incident clearly as he was concentrating on the game. Newcastle were taking a free-kick in stoppage-time when the incident occurred as they chased a winner to put them on the brink of Champions League qualification.
“Those types of situations, no-one should have to face that, playing a sport they love and trying to entertain the country. No-one should have to feel their own personal safety is violated. It’s something for us to reflect on,” Howe added.
“That was a real surprise, I was concentrating on the game, then you turn and … it’s the last thing you expect to happen.”
Leeds missed out on the chance to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone but were thankful for a point after Rasmus Kristensen scored a late equaliser, keeping alive their hopes of survival. Luke Ayling also scored and Callum Wilson scored two penalties after Patrick Bamford missed a spot-kick.
Leeds later confirmed an arrest was made, with a statement reading: “Leeds United can confirm that following an incident at our Premier League match against Newcastle United today, an arrest has been made and a lifetime ban has also been issued.”