Micah Richards described the Benfica fans’ treatment of Liverpool star Luis Diaz on Tuesday as “disgusting”, while Jamie Carragher raised concerns over the “rivalry and tribalism” in the modern game.
Diaz claimed a goal and an assist as Liverpool claimed a 3-1 win in Benfica to leave them in a strong position ahead of the second leg at Anfield.
Diaz, the former Porto forward, had objects thrown at him by the Benfica section of the crowd as he went to celebrate his late goal, and the same happened as he went to collect his man of the match award after the game.
And Richards, on punditry duty for CBS Sports, said the rivalry between Porto and Benfica was not an excuse for the “disgusting behaviour” of the fans.
“Disgusting behaviour,” said Richards. “I know he has played for Porto and he is their rival. But the fans should know better than that.”
Fellow pundit Carragher revealed his concern over displays such as this “creeping into our game”, claiming there’s no escape for footballers now due to social media.
Carragher added: “It’s happening a lot more in the game. I don’t think he (the fan) will be going to that stadium anytime soon.
“In the FA Cup in England. We actually saw a fan run onto the pitch and throw a punch at someone. I think it was Nottingham Forest v Leicester City. This is creeping into our game. It’s not just in Portugal. I am saying this is happening in England and all over the place.
“The rivalry and tribalism in football now, it certainly wasn’t like that when I was growing up and watching football.
“I think with the amount of football we see. Social media. I do think fans and everybody gets a lot more wound up by football – football seems a lot bigger than when I was younger. It’s the only thing you see on TV. It’s blanket coverage. It’s on your phone and it’s a constant thing – I think it’s pretty bad at times.”
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