The Metropolitan Police confirmed on Monday that they are investigating an alleged assault on Keane which took place during Sunday’s Premier League match between the Gunners and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.
Both pundits are believed to have left the Sky Sports studio shortly before the end of the match to make their way pitch-side for post-match analysis.
They were waiting for a lift at the members-only Highbury Bar at the top of the West Stand when the incident took place, with the Daily Mail reporting that a headbutt was aimed at Keane which struck him on the chest and chin.
A brief video clip of the immediate aftermath circulated on social media on Sunday evening showing Richards grappling with the alleged attacker and pushing and holding him back, with Keane clearly furious behind him.
Sky Sports released their own statement on Monday morning and confirmed that Richards had intervened to break up the altercation.
The statement read: ‘We understand the police are investigating an alleged assault by a member of the public immediately preceding the footage circulating on social media. In the footage seen, Micah Richards was acting to defuse a situation.’
Neither Richards or Keane have spoken about the incident yet but both still made their way pitch-side in time to provide post-match analysis after Arsenal’s 3-1 victory.
According to The Sun, both were ‘left shaken’ following the incident and Sky intend to beef up their security moving forward.
Match of the Day host Lineker, who has recorded a podcast with Richards for several years, provided an update on his colleague’s well-being on Monday afternoon and was keen to make light of the episode.
Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, he said: ‘Just recorded the latest Rest Is Football podcast with Micah Richards and Alan Shearer… and yes, Micah is all in one piece. It will be with you this afternoon.’
The fan, meanwhile, fled the scene in a crowd and police – with the help of Arsenal – are now combing through CCTV footage to try and identify him.
A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Police are investigating following an assault that is alleged to have occurred at the Emirates Stadium during an Arsenal v Manchester United match on Sunday, 3 September.’
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