ERIC DIER was involved in an incredible brawl on Wednesday night after he jumped into the stands to confront a fan – and we can reveal what sparked the outburst.
Videos quickly circulated on social media of the Tottenham star, 26, furiously leaping over seats as he raced to the back of the stand.
Seconds earlier, Spurs had been knocked out of the FA Cup after losing to Norwich on penalties in their fifth-round clash.
Gedson Fernandes missed his spot-kick, with initial reports claiming Dier – who scored his effort – had been defending his team-mate over claims he’d been racially abused.
But we can reveal the real reason behind the 40-cap England star seeing red – because he was heroically defending his younger brother.
A source revealed one fan had been shouting abuse in the direction of Dier, despite him being one of very few Spurs stars to have a decent game in North London.
The player’s brother, who was seated nearby, tried to calm the man down.
It is believed the pair got into a heated exchange and Dier jumped into the stands to protect his sibling.
It is not clear what sparked the row and if the supporter involved is a Spurs fan.
Tottenham are not expected to take any action against Dier, who could be heard shouting, “he’s my brother, he’s my brother” during the clash in one fan video.
The FA will today launch their investigation into the incident.
They will speak to Spurs stewards and fans nearby for their observations.
Dier is likely to face a misconduct charge for leaving the pitch area.
He is likely to be charged and will face a small ban and potentially a fine.
But the FA will be lenient towards him due to the circumstances surrounding his family and thanks to their strong anti-abuse stance.
After the game, Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho revealed as a professional Dier should not have done what he did.
But the Special One went on to say he is only human and he was acting in a way most would protecting his loved ones.
Mourinho claimed: “I think Eric did what we professionals cannot do but probably every one of us would do.
“I repeat we professionals cannot do it, but I repeat I am with the player and I understand the player.
“The fans were with the team until the last penalty kick that we missed.
“This person insulted Eric, the family was there, the younger brother was not happy with the situation.”
Mourinho continued by saying he’s long been concerned about the fans seated behind the bench.
He added: “The people that are in these privileged positions by the tunnel, of course some are Tottenham fans.
“But I think a lot of corporate, a lot of invitation, a lot of people with special status [are in there].
“Probably it is the place of the stadium where I sometimes have doubts over if they are the real Tottenham fans.
“The [real fans] are the ones who support the boys until the last.”