AZ Alkmaar issues 43 stadium bans after West Ham fans were attacked by hooded thugs during the European Teams Conference League semi-final… with 14 fans arrested after Dutch police announced on Tuesday deadline for surrender
Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar have imposed 43 stadium bans on ultras following violence in the Dutch side’s Europa Conference League semi-final against West Ham.
Dutch hooligans dressed in black hoodies attempted to storm the stairs of AFAS Stadium and break into the hospitality seats outside where families and friends of West Ham players had watched the victory 1-0 overnight.
A small handful of traveling supporters bravely fought off the flood of ultras at the top of the stairwell, forcing the onslaught back down the stairs.
Players such as Said Benrahma, Lucas Paqueta, Michail Antonio and Flynn Downes were also involved in the scrum as they tried to keep fans safe.
Dutch police have given hooligans involved in the fracas until Tuesday to turn themselves in or risk having their faces broadcast on Opsporing Verzochtthe Dutch equivalent of Crimestoppers, after 16 of the thugs involved surrendered to authorities.
AZ Alkmaar issued a number of stadium bans after fan violence last week following their Europa Conference League semi-final against West Ham
A small handful of fans had to hold off a wave of hooligans seeking to break into the stands outside
Riot police have been mobilized by Dutch authorities, with the incident just the latest in a series as cases of football violence rise in the Netherlands
The club announced that AZ’s on-pitch bans were by no means the final punishment ultras could still face as they released a statement on the events which read: “AZ have now issued 43 bans stadium in response to the disruptions of the past week.
“These are visitors involved in the misconduct surrounding the European semi-final in Alkmaar.
“It is by no means excluded that even more local stadium bans will be imposed.”
The club’s statement added that the Dutch police’s criminal investigation was ongoing, with 14 people arrested so far.
Ahead of Sunday’s game against PSV Eindhoven – their last game of the season – AZ discussed possible additional measures with “the competent authorities” to ensure similar scenes do not happen again.
“The starting point is that the thousands of well-meaning AZ fans should be able to experience an enjoyable match,” the statement added.
Chris Knoll, known as ‘Knollsy’, bravely pushed the Dutch hooligans back up the stairwell
A bespoke figurine of the famous West Ham supporter sold on eBay for over £6,000 on Thursday
The statement comes just hours after a commemorative action figure featuring Chris ‘Knollsy’ Knoll, nicknamed ‘The Angel of Alkmaar’, sold on eBay for over £6,000.
The father-of-four helped almost single-handedly stem the tide of rising ultras, and has since been celebrated with a standing ovation as he watched West Ham’s 3-1 win over Leeds on Sunday, and a ticket to the final in Prague in May. 24.
David Moyes’ side will face Fiorentina in an unexpected rematch of West Ham’s last final in Europe, the 1975 Anglo-Italian Cup.
The Serie A side will also be contesting their last chance at silverware this season, having lost 2-1 to Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday.