Eric Cantona regrets not kicking Crystal Palace fan harder despite 9-month ban

Eric Cantona has admitted he regrets not kicking Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons harder despite receiving a nine-month ban.

Following a tussle with Palace defender Richard Shaw, The King was sent off in a Premier League clash at Selhurst Park in 1995. This came before he launched a kung-fu style kick at Simmons, who had been shouting abuse towards Cantona from the advertising hoardings.

The FA hit Cantona with a long ban and he was stripped of his France captaincy. On top of that, the Frenchman was given a two-week prison sentence, which was later reduced to 120 hours community service for the attack.

Cantona claims Simmons racially abused him, so the kung-fu kick is nothing something he would take back.

“I have been insulted thousands of times and have never reacted, but sometimes you are fragile,” Cantona said in The United Way – a new film he has narrated and co-written — as quoted by the Daily Mail.

“I have one regret,” he added. “I would have loved to have kicked him even harder. I was banned for nine months. They wanted me to be an example.”

It was clear at the time that the FA were throwing the book at Cantona, as we’ve seen with so many players at United down the years.

Just look at how Edinson Cavani was treated by the FA at the beginning of this season – via BBC Sport.

Read more: Manchester United fans will fight for 50+1 rule to take control from Glazers

More Stories Crystal Palace Eric Cantona Manchester United