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19th May 2023

West Ham players clash with hooligans as they dive into the crowd to protect loved ones

Callum Boyle

West Ham

Full time sparked violent scenes in Alkmaar

Footage of West Ham’s players trying to reach their families has emerged online after a number of AZ Alkmaar supporters stormed the section where they were sitting.

West Ham reached their first major European final since 1976 after Pablo Fornals’ 94th minute winner on the night gave them a 3-1 aggregate win, setting up a Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina in Prague.

The full time whistle brought unsavoury scenes however as AZ fans managed to storm the section where the families and friends of West Ham players were seated at the AFAS Stadion.

Footage online has now revealed a new angle which can see Lucas Paqueta and Said Benrahma both trying to reach the section in order to try and protect their loved ones.

Paqueta can be seen trying to get the stewards to go over and protect while Benrahma and full back Aaron Cresswell were also involved.

Former West Ham midfielder Joe Cole told BT Sport: “It’s absurd. Ridiculous grown men, AZ Alkmaar fans attacking the fans where families were sitting, our friends and colleagues. The players tried to break it up.

“You have to look at UEFA and AZ Alkmaar with things like that. Turning up with balaclavas throwing punches, it’s just ridiculous. The players are rightfully concerned, families, friends, kids over there. Ridiculous in the modern game, pathetic.”

After the game, David Moyes revealed that his 87-year-old father was caught up in the violence.

“You hope they will to get themselves away from it,” he said. “I was on the pitch at the end and security wanted to take me inside but I wanted to make sure the players didn’t get too involved.

“We’ll need to wait for the dust to settle but a lot of the players were getting angry because they couldn’t see if their families were OK. We will have to wait and ask the officials what really happened.”

Alkmaar boss Peter Jensen strongly condemned the actions of the home support.

He said: “I feel a bit ashamed that those scenes happened in our stadium. It shouldn’t be happening – the game didn’t go as we hoped, but you have to stay in control of your emotions.”

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