Sunderland's Luke O'Nien and Jack Ross react to shocking Portsmouth fan incident and explain why charges won't be pressed

Luke O'Nien says he won't press charges against a Portsmouth fan after a shocking incident at Fratton Park
Luke O'Nien says he won't press charges against a Portsmouth fan after a shocking incident at Fratton Park
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Luke O'Nien has revealed he won't be pressing charges against the Portsmouth supporter who swung a punch at him as he fell over the advertising boards.

The incident happened in the second half of Sunderland's goalless draw at Fratton Park, which sealed the club's place in the League One play-off semi final.

The supporter was ejected from the ground but O'Nien has confirmed he won't be pressing charges.

O'Nien laughed off the incident, saying: "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 boss Jack Ross was also keen to play down the incident.

Speaking in the aftermath of the goalless draw that sealed a place at the League One Wembley play-off final on May 26, Ross said: "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 shouldnt' 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 tonight."