West Ham vow to issue life bans to pitch-invading fans

Jose Verdugo
Marcha 14, 2018

West Ham have vowed to issue life bans to the fans who invaded the pitch at the club's London Stadium during Saturday's 3-0 defeat by Burnley.

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.

London Stadium's Safety Advisory Group (SAG) will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the crowd trouble. The Football Association has opened its own inquiry and the Premier League also expressed concern at the situation.

West Ham have already confirmed that they will issue fans who were involved in Saturday's crowd trouble with lifetime bans and are now conducting a thorough investigation into each incident.

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

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"The club is working in close conjunction with the Metropolitan Police to identify those individuals who entered the pitch during the second half and... to identify those who threw missiles", said a statement from West Ham.

"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".

While West Ham announced a £43.5 million (S$79.5 million) profit in the year ending May 2017 and record turnover of £183.3 million - coinciding with the move away from Upton Park - results on the pitch have continued to decline.

West Ham are two places, and three points, above the relegation zone with eight matches to play, including several against clubs in the top six.

"West Ham United maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards any behaviour of this nature, with the safety of all supporters always the club's number one priority".

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