‘Big deal’: Eric Dier reveals family no longer attends away games due to abuse | England

Eric Dier has revealed that his closest relatives no longer attend away games due to abuse they hear inside stadiums, which he feels is getting worse and represents a “big, big problem” for football.

The Tottenham centre-half, who is back in the England squad for the first time since March 2021 having found the best form of his career, took to the stands to face a hostile fan following his club’s defeat at home against Norwich in the FA Cup. in March 2020.

Dier, who was banned for four matches and fined £40,000, feared for the safety of his younger brother Patrick, who had been involved in an argument with the fan. Dier missed the fan, who turned and ran when he saw it coming. Dier said Tuesday that he has no regrets and that he would do it again to protect a loved one.

Dier is a reticent spokesman on an issue that has privately concerned him for some time. Even at St George’s Park, ahead of Friday’s Nations League tie in Italy and Monday’s Wembley match in the same competition against Germany, he tried to shrug off not being too dramatic. But he was able to get a few things out of his chest.

“It’s definitely gotten worse. [since the incident in March 2020]Dier said. “For me, it is a serious problem. I had some family and friends at Chelsea’s away game against Tottenham. [at the start of this season] and they had problems. Not nice either. It’s a huge, huge problem. It was verbal, not physical but, like, bad stuff. One incident was at Tottenham’s visiting winger. I want to emphasize that it was both sets of fans. I’m not saying they’re Chelsea or Tottenham fans, they’re football fans in general.

“I never complain about these things and I really don’t care. We played Burnley after I went to the stands for the next away game and the Burnley fans were singing a song about my brother and I like that kind of thing. I find it quite amusing. I like that kind of humor… if it’s in the right way. I love playing away games and I enjoy that kind of atmosphere. It’s part of it.

“But there are some things that I find very strange. it’s not nice. My family would never go to an away game nowadays because of that and it’s a shame I’m too uncomfortable for them to go. This has been for years. My mom hasn’t been to an away game. She’d love it, but I’d be worried about it, and that’s crazy, isn’t it? All of our families go through that. The parents of all the players have been watching them since they were kids and they’ve been through that kind of thing.”

Dier reflected on the incident with the abusive supporter after the Norwich Cup tie. “I had never talked about that situation in the press before because, to be honest, he was not at all happy with the way he handled himself. I don’t know what I can say about it because I don’t know if I will be banned or fined again.

“It wasn’t overly dramatic, like people make it out to be. But yeah, I don’t regret it at all and would do it again. [For] my family, my colleagues, anyone, a friend of mine. I consider myself extremely loyal.”

Dier became something of a scapegoat for Spurs’ implosion under José Mourinho during the second half of the 2020-21 season and hit a low point when he missed out on the European Championship in the summer of 2021.

But Dier has been reborn at Spurs under Antonio Conte, who took over as manager in November last year, and now Gareth Southgate has once again been a stalwart for his England team at the 2018 World Cup, which reached the semifinals.

“I don’t want to sound like a teacher’s pet, but he [Conte] He has done a lot for me, in all aspects,” Dier said. “Since he arrived, he had never learned so much. he is the godfather of that [three-at-the-back] system so it’s constantly evolving within that. It probably gave me a little bit of a belief back as well. I think I have reached my best level in my career, not only this season but also last season. I am improving and I can improve.”

Dier, who won the last of his 45 caps for Iceland in November 2020, was asked about the possibility of reaching the half-century. “It would mean a lot. It’s something that when I wasn’t in the squad it was on my mind that it was so close. That bothered me. I would love to be able to reach that kind of milestone. I’ve seen that they now have a blackboard in the hotel reception. [at St Georges’ Park] of all the people who have done 50 and 100. It is a dream to be able to reach that”.

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