Four West Ham fans have been banned from all future Hammers games following unrest in the Netherlands.
West Ham’s European triumph didn’t come without its controversies. From cutting open the head of a Fiorentina player with a plastic cup, to having families attacked, the off the pitch drama was nearly as dramatic as on the pitch.
The fixture away to AZ Alkmaar, our Irons led by one goal heading into the semi-final of the UEFA Conference League and Dutch fans aren’t known for staying out of trouble. While the focus was on the disgusting events that unfolded after the full time whistle (which resulted in AZ issuing 43 stadium bans) there was footage of fights from before the game as well. One such video has resulted in four West Ham fans being issued “Football Banning Orders”.
Unfortunately for them, this means they will not be able to attend any West Ham games moving forward and will have to surrender their passports during European game weeks.
PC Jack Muscat from the MPS Football Unit confirmed that the Metropolitan police had to work closely with the police from the Netherlands to identify the perpetrators, as reported by the BBC. “These cases show the collaborative work between police in different countries to deal with supporters committing offences.”
“Following your club in Europe should be a great experience,” he continued, “and we ask supporters to be respectful while visiting other countries.”
“Passion is what makes football great but there is a line, don’t overstep it and regret missing memorable trips with your mates.”
It goes without saying that anyone who is fighting at a football match in the modern day should expect a ban but it makes you wonder why the same action wasn’t taken against the hundreds of AZ fans who attacked our players’ families. The club got fined but there has been no other punishment against the supporters outside of the Netherlands club issuing stadium bans themselves. That is nowhere near the severity of what the English fans have been hit with.
Due to the cup throwing incident in the Conference League final, we won’t be able to have any away fans in Freiburg but these bans should come as a warning to fans that if they get into trouble, chances are you’ll be caught no matter how much you try to hide your identity.
By Charlie Bass