Sunday, December 5, 2021

West Ham accept UEFA sanctions as fans banned from trip to Rapid Vienna

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 17 Nov 2021

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West Ham have confirmed they have accepted UEFA’s sanctions banning the club’s fans from attending their next Europa League game against Rapid Vienna.

A number of travelling fans without tickets caused disturbances and entered the stadium during West Ham’s last European fixture away to Genk on November 4, which ended 2-2.

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body issued two fines amounting to €34,500 to the club, charging them under Article 16(2)(h) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations relating to crowd disturbances and Article 16(2)(b) due to objects being thrown by the away fans.

The Hammers will now be forced to play in Vienna on November 25 with none of their supporters inside the stadium.

West Ham are unbeaten in their first four Europa League games, sitting top of the group with 10 points and need just to better Dinamo Zagreb’s result against Genk to seal a place in the last 16.

The club are offering refunds to supporters who have purchased tickets for the game and urged their fans not to travel to Austria.

A club statement read: “Despite the club’s robust processes around our own security and operations in support of our ticketed fans who travelled to Genk, evidence has been presented to confirm that a small number of ticketless individuals caused disturbances and illegally gained entrance to Genk’s stadium.

“West Ham United condemn the behaviour of this group of individuals and we are working to identify them following their actions, which have now ultimately led to our supporters – the vast majority of whom behaved impeccably in Belgium – being punished and resulting in David Moyes’ team being forced to play in Austria without the backing of the club’s fans, whose loyal and passionate support has spurred the Hammers on during an unbeaten opening four games of the Europa League adventure so far.

“While the club accepts the sanctions, we also wish to place on record our disappointment at the extremely short notice of the measures, which were received eleven days after the fixture in Genk and just over a week ahead of the match against Rapid Vienna which has limited our options significantly, and has sadly impacted supporters who have booked return travel and accommodation in Austria.

“The club has had to consider these supporters and the impact on them both for this fixture and future fixtures if this process was subject to further delays.”

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