World Cup final pitch invader remanded in 1-day police custody | Cricket News – Times of India
NEW DELHI: An Australian individual, who disrupted the pitch during Sunday’s World Cup final between India and Australia in Ahmedabad while wearing a pro-Palestine T-shirt, has been remanded in one-day police custody by a Gandhinagar court, as confirmed by an official on Monday.
The intruder, Wen Johnson (24), entered Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium just before the drinks break in the final around 3:00 pm, approaching batter Virat Kohli.Swift action by security personnel led to his immediate apprehension.
Subsequently, Chandkheda police arrested Johnson on charges of criminal trespass (section 447) and causing harm to deter public servants from performing their duty (section 332).
Following the arrest, the city police commissioner transferred the case from Chandkheda police to the Crime Branch. Johnson was presented in a Gandhinagar court for his remand, facilitating further investigation into the incident.
Advocate VS Vaghela, representing Wen Johnson, informed reporters that his client had been remanded in police custody until 5 pm on Tuesday, despite the Crime Branch’s request for a 10-day custody on various grounds.
According to the FIR, Johnson, initially a spectator, breached security by jumping the railing and rushing towards the pitch, pushing aside on-duty policemen in an attempt to hug Kohli.
When questioned about his actions, Johnson, a self-proclaimed fan of Kohli, explained to the police that he wanted to embrace the cricketer. The FIR revealed that around 15 policemen were guarding ‘Point number R-88’ of the stadium, where Johnson breached the fence.
Wearing a face mask with the design of the Palestine flag and a T-shirt displaying ‘Stop bombing Palestine’ and ‘Save Palestine’ slogans, Johnson violated the ICC’s regulations against political sloganeering during cricket events.
Such acts are also prohibited in India. A preliminary investigation uncovered Johnson’s history as a habitual offender, having been previously booked in his home country for invading sports fields, as noted by police inspector Viraj Jadeja on Sunday.
“Johnson told us he is a fan of Virat Kohli and wanted to meet him during the match. He wore the pro-Palestine T-shirt just for the sake of it. Otherwise, his main aim was to meet Kohli,” the police officer had said.
In some videos and photos he has shared on his Instagram handle ‘pyjamamann’, Johnson can be seen invading fields during football games and being taken away by security personnel.
According to a Crime Branch release issued on Monday, Johnson had invaded the field during the FIFA Women’s World Cup football match this year wearing a ‘Free Ukraine’ T-shirt.
Similarly, he went into the field during a ‘State of Origin III’ rugby match in Brisbane in Australia in 2020.
“Johnson is in the habit of associating himself with any current international issue and invading fields just to get publicity to become famous as a TikToker,” the release said.
“A probe has revealed his father is of Chinese origin while his mother is from The Philippines. He lives in Sydney and works with a solar panel firm,” said the release.
It was revealed that Johnson had put on the blue jersey of the Indian team over the T-shirt that had the pro-Palestine slogans. He then removed the jersey before running towards Kohli.
(With PTI inputs)