Sunderland defender Luke O’Nien not to press charges after being attacked by Portsmouth fan during League One play-off semi-final 

Have your say

Sunderland defender Luke O’Nien won’t be pressing charges after revealing he was attacked by a Pompey fan in an unsavoury moment during the League One play-off semi-final second leg. 

O’Nien fell into the North Stand lower tier midway through the second half of the goalless draw at Fratton Park – which saw the Blues’ season come to an end.

Luke O'Nien says he was attacked by a Pompey fan. Picture: Joe Pepler

Luke O'Nien says he was attacked by a Pompey fan. Picture: Joe Pepler

The 24-year-old appeared to be held back for a moment, before Black Cats midfielders Lee Cattermole and Grant Leadbitter leapt to the defence of their team-mates.

The supporter involved was subsequently ejected from the stadium.

O’Nien admitted Hampshire police spoke to him after the game – but he won't be taking things any further. 

The right-back told the Sunderland Echo: ‘I kind of went over the boarding. They had a few digs at me, but that's just football. Yeah (the police have spoken to me).

‘They asked if I wanted to press charges, but that's just football.

‘When the whistle goes, it's two teams going at it and two crowds going at it and that's a massive part of it.

‘Yeah, there was a little bit (of contact).

‘It was what it was, but he didn't hurt me or anything like that.

‘I think he got arrested in the end, but he can have that one!’

Sunderland manager Jack Ross added: ‘I asked the fourth official and I think he said a supporter had swung an arm at Luke, which isn't great.

‘I wouldn't make too big a deal of it, not just because we won the tie but because I enjoy coming here. It is a proper football ground with a really good fan base.

‘One idiot shouldn’t spoil it or tarnish that fan group.

‘I am only going on what the fourth official told me. I can't see from here, I was far away from it.

‘Knowing Luke as a lad, I would be very confident that he hadn't instigated anything, he is far from that type of character.

‘You can't condone it but there are 18,000+ people here in this stadium, the vast majority of them come to support both teams and back them properly.’

‘We have to be careful in football, while we acknowledge it wasn't right, that we don't focus on it, the atmosphere generated by the proper football fans was very good.’