sports gazette

An accident waiting to happen

Published: 27 Oct 2016

We should be talking about a fantastic 2-1 win for West Ham putting them into the quarter-finals of the League Cup but once again, hooliganism and West Ham are all over the papers.

Before the game, West Ham United confirmed that they would have police officers on duty inside the stadium ahead of their League Cup tie with London rivals Chelsea, whose ticket allocation had already been decreased due to infrastructure issues but it didn’t seem to deter either sets of fans from starting trouble.

One fan, who was at the game told us how the trouble started. He said: “When West Ham scored, the nearest section of home fans ran towards the stewards and towards the Chelsea fans.”

He told us how it was towards the end of the game that it started to get more serious. “We were upper tier so had a decent view what was going on," he said. "West Ham fans throwing seats and Chelsea fans throwing objects back.

“There was fighting going on in the walkway between the sets of fans - seats and various other missiles throwing everywhere”

Riot police were called once the trouble started but it was too late, with hundreds of fans involved.

“Both sets of fans tried to invade the opposition’s section and opposition fans were running from the opposite end of the ground to get involved."

I'm not really surprised, everybody knew it was inevitable they should’ve known it was going to kick off, they should have taken the precautions necessary.

West Ham moved into a bigger stadium to attract more fans, but if the trouble continues, they’re going to be turning away future fans.

“We felt a bit scared, and if people had kids there, they’re not going to come again, their day would be ruined by fighting and people ripping up seats.”

 There has been crowd trouble at almost every game at the London Stadium this season and the fan we spoke to, who wishes to remain anonymous, believes both clubs should be punished.

“I’m not sure a fine will do anything, a slap on the wrist won’t do anything.

 “I think playing a game behind closed doors is a good punishment, and fans might take more care then."

^ Back to top ^