Hammers plan to ban 200 fans over crowd trouble
West Ham United are preparing to root out the fans who caused Wednesday's trouble at the London Stadium, and are planning to ban 200 of them for their behaviour at the end of the game. While the club are also planning to review security measures through the London Stadium Safety Advisory Group, their first priority was to ban those responsible for Wednesday ugly scenes.
Club officials spent yesterday poring over the CCTV footage from the state-of-the-art Panomera system, which provides HD footage far clearer than what most clubs have in their grounds. This means that West Ham can identify with real certainty who did what when home and away fans clashed at the end of Wednesday night's game. They have already banned 23 individuals this season for bad behaviour, thanks to the new cameras.
The Metropolitan Police arrested seven men at the game, but West Ham intend a far broader response, to send a clear signal that aggressive and confrontational behaviour will not be tolerated at the London Stadium. Safety and family-friendliness are paramount, and the club never want to see violent scenes at the ground again.
This means that the club are intending to issue lifetime bans to any fans who were seen throwing missiles - chairs, coins and bottles - over the segregation line at the Chelsea fans. They will also ask those fans to receive banning orders, keeping them out of any football match. But the club will also be pursuing the fans who charged over towards the Chelsea fans, making aggressive gestures. They will be subject to one-year bans, as the club makes clear its no-tolerance policy for provocative behaviour.
As West Ham made clear in their public statement immediately after the game, they now have 10,000 under-16 season ticket holders, and 25,000 supporters who attend as part of a family unit. The club are desperate for those fans to feel safe, and to attract more fans like them. "The club and stadium partners have been working hard to ensure that the stadium is a safe and family friendly environment," the club said, "for all home and away supporters."
There were 5,200 Chelsea fans at London Stadium and there are only away followings that big for cup games. But West Ham have yet to play a high-profile home game in the Premier League, and there will serious focus on their games with Arsenal on December 3 and Manchester United on January 2. There will be 3,000 away fans for each of those and West Ham will be desperate to ensure safe segregation between home and away fans, and no repeat of Wednesday night. (© Independent News Service)
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