September 17, 2019 / 3:45 PM / a month ago

Birmingham fined for pitch attack on Villa's Grealish

Soccer Football - Championship - Birmingham City v Aston Villa - St Andrew's, Birmingham, Britain - March 10, 2019 Aston Villa's Jack Grealish is substituted as a police officer looks on Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine/File Photo

(Reuters) - Birmingham City have been fined 42,500 pounds ($53,000) and warned by the Football Association after one of their fans ran onto the pitch and punched Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish during a Championship (second tier) match in March.

Paul Mitchell, 27, pleaded guilty at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court to charges of assault and encroachment and was jailed for 14 weeks.

Mitchell was also banned from attending any football matches in the UK for 10 years and banned for life by Birmingham.

"The club... was found to have failed to ensure that its spectator[s]... conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from improper and/or violent behaviour and/or refrained from encroaching onto the pitch area," the FA said in a statement on its website here

Grealish was punched in the side of the face by Mitchell during Villa’s 1-0 win at St Andrew’s. The 24-year-old fell to the turf as a steward and Villa players caught Mitchell and dragged him away.

($1 = 0.8037 pounds)

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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