Shocking moment AZ Alkmaar Ultras smash down 12ft gate to storm towards West Ham families in ‘pre-planned’ attack
SHOCKING video shows AZ Alkmaar hooligans tearing down a 12ft stadium gate to unleash chaos on West Ham fans and their families.
The Dutch fans were accused of a “pre-planned” attack after disgraceful scenes marred The Hammers’ 1-0 win in the Europa Conference League last night.
AZ Alkmaar thugs tore down a 12ft gate to storm the away stands
The Dutch fans reacted angrily to West Ham’s 1-0 win in the Europa Conference League
One West Ham supporter fought off the thugs as they tried to get up stairs towards the away endGETTY
GETTYWest Ham fans and their families tried to defend themselves against the attack[/caption]
TWITTERThe Dutch fans reacted angrily to West Ham’s 1-0 win[/caption]
Hammers keeper Alphonse Areola and Flynn Downes headed towards the worrying scenes
AZ Alkmaar Ultras were seen engaging in ugly skirmishes ahead of the match.
The Ben Side thugs were seen storming the streets outside the stadium and pelting Hammers fans with chairs.
And footage inside the stadium shows them surging up the stairs before toppling the huge fence separating them from West Ham supporters.
Several West Ham players and staff, including sporting director Mark Noble, rushed to help protect their familes from the thugs – who were dressed in black and wearing balaclavas.
One Hammers fan in particular has been hailed for singlehandedly fending off the hooligans as they tried to get up the stairs towards the away end.
West Ham stars Alphonse Areola, Flynn Downes and Lucas Paqueta were also spotted heading towards the worrying scenes as security held them back.
Hammer fans have slammed cops and security for “significant failings” after the chaos last night.
“The incidents that we saw appeared to involve a masked and hooded gang in pre-planned and unprovoked attack” West Ham United Supporters’ Trust told the Evening Standard.
“This appears to be a significant failing on the part of the security and police in terms of intelligence and prevention as well as a lack of officers in place to provide adequate protection for a vulnerable group.”
Director of football Noble tried in vain to restrain Michail Antonio, who leapt over advertising hoardings to defend the fans and families.
Captain Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen were also seen confronting members of the crowd, with the former appearing to throw an object in their direction.
Former West Ham striker Marlon Harewood was also among the away fans cheering on the side and was pictured amid the chaos.
Members of the Irons coaching staff including Kevin Nolan were seen berating stewards for their failure to intervene.
Reacting to the trouble, BT Sport pundit Joe Cole said: “It’s absurd. Grown men attacking the West Ham fans. Players were trying to get involved to break it up.
“AZ Alkmaar fans throwing punches is ridiculous. There were families. Football is for everyone. It’s ridiculous in the modern game. Pathetic.
“We had friends in there. Ban them for life.”
His colleague Carlton Cole added: “There was no need for it.
“West Ham have come here, done their job and not disrespected them in any shape or form. The families of the players are over there. Sometimes emotions take hold of you.”
London-born Alkmaar boss Pascal Jansen admitted he was “ashamed” of the ugly scenes, while Moyes’ elderly father was also caught up in the mayhem.
Moyes said: “I can’t explain what happened and why it happened. The players were involved because it was the family section. That was probably the reason for the reaction.
“I don’t want that in any way to blight the night because the West Ham fans weren’t looking for trouble. Hopefully they’ll 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.
“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.”
There were also clashes between West Ham and AZ fans ahead of kick-off, who again were masked as they caused mayhem on the streets of Alkmaar.
But this is not AZ Alkmaar’s first incident of a brutal skirmish with opposition fans, stadium break-in or pre-planned brawl.
David Moyes’ Hammers progressed to the final 3-1 on aggregate and will now meet Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final.
Pablo Fornals’ 94th minute strike sealed their victory, sparking the violent fans to attack friends and family of West Ham players and coaching staff sat behind the dugout.
Former Hammers striker Marlon Harewood was in the away end with West Ham supporters
A concerned Declan Rice can be seen frantically trying alert the stewards to something