West Ham want life bans for London Stadium pitch invaders

West Ham want life bans for London Stadium pitch invaders

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West Ham fans are unhappy about their move to London Stadium in August 2016

West Ham will seek life football bans for fans who invaded the pitch during Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Burnley.

There were four separate pitch invasions at London Stadium, along with protests against the club’s board.

Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold were forced to leave the directors’ box for their own safety, with Sullivan struck on the head by a coin.

The club say they are working to identify supporters involved and want the courts to issue banning orders.

“Any individual found guilty will be banned from attending any West Ham United fixture, home and away, for life and the club will request the courts serve a banning order to prevent these individuals attending any football matches in the future,” a statement released on Wednesday read.

On Monday, a leading supporters’ group announced it will vote this month on whether to reinstate plans for a protest march against the owners.

London Stadium’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the crowd trouble.

The SAG – which includes representatives from the club, police, Newham council, stadium owners and operators – has the power to restrict the capacity of the ground or even close it to paying spectators completely.

Analysis

BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

Although playing behind closed doors is thought to be highly unlikely, security procedures for the match, which had a number of pitch invasions and angry scenes in the stands that resulted in children having to get shelter in the Burnley dugout and co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold leave the directors’ box for their own safety, will come under intense scrutiny.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan described the scenes as “disgraceful”. The Football Association has opened its own inquiry and the Premier League also expressed concern at the situation.

As West Ham are not due to play at home again until they meet Southampton in a crucial match at the bottom of the league on 31 March, the SAG does have the option to delay a decision to ensure any recommendations can be implemented.

West Ham have sold 57,000 tickets for the game.

A growing number of fans have expressed their fury at what they perceive as “lies” told by Sullivan, Gold and West Ham vice-chairwoman Karren Brady about the potential benefits of the historic move to London Stadium from Upton Park in 2016.

The supporter attempting to plant a corner flag on the centre spot on Saturday was re-enacting a scene from Upton Park in 1992 when supporters successfully fought against the imposition of a controversial bond scheme, which would have made fans pay for the right to buy a season ticket.

Although no-one at the club is happy with their present position in the Premier League – three points and two places off the relegation zone with eight games remaining – or their form under new manager David Moyes – one win in five games and 14 goals conceded – it is understood the club’s hierarchy still believe the move to the venue for the 2012 Olympic Games will have a positive long-term impact.

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football http://ift.tt/OHg7x6

March 14, 2018 at 05:51AM

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