Chopra 'spat at and attacked' by Newcastle fan
Published 23:00 28/01/10 By Darren Lewis
CARDIFF CITY striker Michael Chopra punched a Newcastle fan who spat in his face at St James’ Park on Wednesday night.
The former Newcastle player, who also had two years at North-East rivals Sunderland, was left “appalled” after the half-time incident which saw stewards intervene.
The striker, 26, had agreed to a request to have a photo taken with the man, only to be subjected to the attack. It took place when Chopra was with a friend watching Newcastle beat Crystal Palace 2-0. The pair were sitting in the players’ box in the Milburn Stand when they were approached.
When Chopra climbed down to the stands for the photo, the fan motioned as if to take the picture with his camera-phone then asked: ‘What’s it like to play for Sunderland?’ before spitting in Chopra’s face and then assaulting him.
A shocked Chopra punched him in the face – leaving his own right hand swollen.
Stadium security staff moved in quickly to apprehend the fan and take him away, leaving Chopra to return to the box.
The fan was described as male, in his late 20s and smartly dressed. Cardiff last night refused to comment on the incident.
Chopra, speaking at his parents’ home in Gosforth, Newcastle, said: “He spat in my face and I did what I had to do to defend myself. He was bang out of order.
“He asked me for a photo and I agreed to that but then he started videoing me and asking me why I had played for Sunderland and what it was like to play for them.
“He spat in my face and called me names and then I had to get him off me.
“I don’t know if anyone from the club got hold of him after that but I did not involve the stewards or the police. The fan was completely out of order. All I did was get him off me.”
Chopra’s Cardiff face Newcastle at St James’ Park next Friday.