After AZ Alkmaar hooligans attacked Hammers fans following the Europa Conference League semi-final match on Thursday in the Netherlands, West Ham manager David Moyes confessed that he was frightened for the safety of his family. The match was played in the Netherlands.
Pablo Fornals scored the game’s only goal in stoppage time to give West Ham a 1-0 victory and a spot in the European final for the first time in 47 years.
However, the second leg of the semi-final was overshadowed by unpleasant scenes when a group of AZ fans wearing black shirts and hoods attempted to storm into the section of the stadium that was reserved for friends and family of the West Ham players and management.
In an effort to put an end to the turmoil, some West Ham players, such as Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma, Aaron Cresswell, and Flynn Downes, scaled the advertising hoardings.
Moyes, whose father is 87 years old and was there at the game, stated that he “can’t explain what happened and why it happened.”
“I can only say that the players were involved because it was the family section and the majority of their family and friends were in there,” I said. “I can only say that.” That was probably the cause of the response that was given.
“Had I been concerned? My friends and family were also in that part, and my family was there as well. You have high hopes that they will make an effort to flee the situation and get away from it.
“Because I had moved onto the field, I was unable to recognize it. The security guards wanted to let me in, but before I could comply, I had to make sure that none of my players were engaged.
“What we don’t want to do is in any way blight the night because it was most definitely not West Ham fans looking for trouble,” said one of the police officers. I really hope that they will look into it.
‘Very unfortunate’ — Video of the incidents was widely shared on social media, and photographs were also shared of conflicts involving fans of opposing teams earlier in the day on the streets of Alkmaar.
During the first leg of the semifinals that took place at the London Stadium a week ago, which West Ham won 2-1, members of the families of AZ players got into a conflict with supporters of the east London side.
“When families or friends are coming to the stadium, we don’t want to see things like that,” stated Alphonse Areola, the goalkeeper for the Hammers.
They want to have a good time, and we want to make sure that happens right along with them. We were concerned about their well-being.
The Dutch police have stated that there have been no arrests made as of yet, but it is anticipated that UEFA, the governing body of football in Europe, will open an investigation into the trouble.
No one has been taken into custody as of yet. We wanted to restore order as rapidly as possible while also dispersing the throng, and we were successful in doing both of those things. The authorities will review the footage of the incidents and make an effort to identify those who supported the protesters. According to a statement released by the local police department, this could lead to arrests.
“Together with AZ, the municipality of Alkmaar, and the public prosecution office, we will investigate the incidents that took place yesterday night, all of which are deeply upsetting to us. This sort of behavior has no business being tolerated in football.
Before taking any action, UEFA will wait for all of the relevant reports to come in, but AZ might be in for some serious punishment.
Pascal Jansen, the manager of AZ, commented further by saying, “What happened last week was very unfortunate, and then you get the same feeling as what happened tonight.”
“I do feel a little bit ashamed that it happened in our stadium, but you have to learn to control your emotions.”