Serious crowd problems marred Watford’s stunning comeback win at London Stadium this afternoon.
Eye-witnesses spoke of an absence of policing, inadequate stewarding, poor segregation and the sight of children leaving the stadium in tears in incidents described as “disgusting”, “embarrassing” and “a return to the dark ages”.
A number of home fans were ejected by stewards for persistent standing and there were also alarming scenes in the away end as West Ham and Watford fans clashed amid flimsy segregation. The featured image is of stewards attempting to control West Ham fans in the home end of the stadium.
“West Ham fans storming the Watford FC section,” wrote Simon Turner on Twitter. “Took far too long for stewards and security to react. Disgusting.”
West Ham have condemned the violence and will launch an investigation into the trouble which got progressively worse as Watford staged a comeback.
“I hope something will be done,” wrote @RichardSh16 on Twitter. “Police non existent and these fans should never be allowed inside a stadium again.”
We had been told pre-match, by a West Ham fan, about the lack of clear segregation in their previous home match with Bournemouth.
West Ham issued the following statement:”West Ham United unreservedly condemn the behaviour of the individuals involved in incidents during today’s fixture against Watford
“While these isolated incidents were quickly brought under control, this behaviour has no place in football and West Ham United will work tirelessly to eradicate such incidents.
“We are currently undertaking an immediate full review with all stakeholders. This includes police, stadium landlord and operator LS185, who are responsible for appointing and managing stewards and security, to ensure we eradicate such incidents moving forward.
“Our policy on this behaviour remains one of zero tolerance and we will work with the police and other stakeholders to identify the individuals involved. Once identified, they will be banned from attending any West Ham United fixture for life and we will request the courts serve banning orders to prevent these individuals attending any football.”