West Ham fans including players’ families attacked by AZ Alkmaar thugs after Europa Conference League win

19 May 2023, 06:13 | Updated: 19 May 2023, 10:15

AZ Alkmaar thugs clash in the stands with West Ham supporters
AZ Alkmaar thugs clash in the stands with West Ham supporters. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

West Ham players were forced to step in to defend their loved ones after football thugs attacked a section of visiting supporters where their families were sitting.

The side’s celebrations after beating AZ Alkmaar were cut short when rival fans dressed in black with their hoods up, raced into the stands to start violence.

Players were forced to climb into the crowd to defend their friends and families.

The chaos lasted several minutes with keeper Alphonse Areola saying: “Security is the most important thing in a stadiums specially in this kind of event and we were worried about our families.

West Ham players confront AZ Alkmaar fans who attacked family stand

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“We were very worried about our families. It’s just about security and it was a bit too open for the opposing fans. At the end, they managed to stop them.”

Manager David Moyes said: “I can’t explain what happened and why it happened.

“Players were involved because it was the family section… that was probably the reason for the reaction.

Supporters attack relatives of West Ham United players during the Conference League match between AZ Alkmaar v West Ham
Supporters attack relatives of West Ham United players during the Conference League match between AZ Alkmaar v West Ham. Picture: Getty

“I don’t want that in anyway to blight the night because the West Ham fans weren’t looking for trouble. Hopefully they’ll (UEFA) look into it.

“My family were there and I had friends in that section. You’re hoping they would try and get themselves away from it… I didn’t recognise it because I was too happy. 

“Security wanted to take me inside but I had to make sure my players weren’t involved.”

The West Ham boss continued: “We need to wait for the dust to settle.

“The biggest problem was the area players have friends and families in. 

“The players were angry they couldn't see if they were okay. We need to wait and ask the officials what happened.”

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