West Ham and Fiorentina have been charged by UEFA following incidents during last Wednesday’s Europa Conference League final in Prague.
The Hammers have been charged with invasion of the field of play and throwing of objects, and their opponents have been charged with throwing of objects and the lighting of fireworks. One notable incident saw Fiorentina player Cristiano Biraghi injured by an object thrown from the crowd in the first half, with referee Carlos del Cerro Grande halting play.
Biraghi suffered a cut to the head, which required medical attention and a bandage. Both clubs condemned that incident before the charges were handed down.
“West Ham United unreservedly condemn the behaviour of a small number of individuals who threw objects onto the pitch during tonight’s UEFA Europa Conference League final,
” West Ham said
in a statement.
“These actions have no place in football and do not in any way represent the values of our football club and the overwhelming majority of our supporters, who have behaved impeccably in Prague this week and throughout our last two seasons in European competition.
“In line with our zero-tolerance approach, anyone identified will have their details passed to the police and will be given an indefinite ban and therefore be unable to enter London Stadium and travel with the club.”
The Serie A club said the following: “This unacceptable behaviour obviously affected the performance of the footballer and his team-mates, who had their attention drawn away from footballing matters by the threats to their own safety. The club is certain that UEFA (European soccer’s governing body) will thoroughly evaluate the incident and duly punish those responsible for this act, delivering an appropriate response and setting an example so that such situations never occur again.”
West Ham has yet to find out if West Ham players will be charged over their action against AZ Alkmaar Ultras. UEFA deliberately decided to delay their investigation into both clubs to avoid any bans affecting the outcome of the final. Investigations will now resume. UEFA are still reviewing footage and reports from the incident before deciding whether to launch a separate investigation. Were they to do so, the appointment of a special inspector would see the process drawn out further.
Declan Rice, Said Benrahma, Flynn Downes, Lucas Paucqueta and Michail Antonio could all face bans from Uefa.
In 2021 UEFA ruled West Ham were banned from sell tickets to supporters for their away clash against Rapid Vienna in Austria following supporter troubles in their last European outing against Genk.
European football’s governing body also hit West Ham with a fine of €30,000 [around £25,444] for ‘crowd disturbances’ as well as an additional €4,500 [around £3,816] fine for the ‘throwing of objects’ by the travelling fans. Videos at the time showed as many as 150 ticketless West Ham fans managed to storm the turnstiles at the away Europa League match in Belgium.
Should UEFA investigate and find West Ham guilty, they could fine them heavily and ban away supporters from the first Europa League away game.