In this football language post we explain a phrase that has been in the news quite a lot this week in England, ‘pitch invasion’. You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here. If you have questions or comments, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Football Language: Pitch invasion
A pitch invasion describes the situation when fans run onto the pitch – this could happen while the game is being played or, more usually, at the end of the game. The verb ‘to invade‘, when not used to describe an attack or an occupation during a war, means to enter somewhere where you have not been invited or allowed to go, which in football is the pitch. If fans run onto the pitch during a game, then the game is usually stopped – mainly for the protection of the players. But sometimes fans are so happy or relieved with the result of a game, especially at the business end of the season when there are lots of really important and tense matches, that they run on to the pitch at the final whistle to celebrate with the players. Unfortunately, this can turn ugly if players and managers are attacked by some of these fans which is something that has happened over the past few days here in England [2022 season]. Pitch invasion.
- Example: Premier League managers react to pitch invasion incidents, with Jurgen Klopp calling them dangerous (Sky Sports.co.uk, May 20, 2022)
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