West Ham have had another incident of crowd trouble this season, as their 2-1 win over rivals Chelsea in the EFL Cup was tainted by violence in the stands, where police were forced to make seven arrests.
Despite only moving to the Olympic Stadium this season following their move from Upton Park, the Hammers have already seen 23 fans banned from the ground.
Police made four arrests earlier this season, after the 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough was followed with more crowd trouble, and there were even more clashes in the stands during their 2-4 defeat to Watford in September.
— Dangerous Attack Bet (@dangerousattack) October 26, 2016
Coins, plastic bottles and seats were thrown during the London Derby against Chelsea on Wednesday, and West Ham have now released a statement to the Press Association confirming that they will ban fans for life, and will identify those responsible through their high-definition CCTV camera footage and through fans’ purchasing history.
The statement read: “West Ham United and London Stadium partners unreservedly condemn the behaviour of individuals involved in incidents during this evening’s fixture with Chelsea.
Whilst quickly brought under control, the Club, in line with its clear zero tolerance policy, will work closely with London Stadium 185, the Metropolitan Police Service and Chelsea to identify the individuals involved.
London Stadium is fitted with a state of the art Panomera CCTV system which provides HD footage of every area of the ground and has led to the successful identification and subsequent banning of 23 individuals already this season.
Once identified, those found to have acted improperly will be banned from attending any West Ham United fixtures for life and we will request the courts serve banning orders to prevent these individuals attending any other football.
West Ham United have 10,000 under-16 season ticket holders and 25,000 supporters who attend as part of a family unit, and the Club and Stadium partners have been working hard to ensure that the Stadium is a safe and family friendly environment for all home and away supporters.
As such, the purchase of tickets for tonight’s fixture was limited to supporters with a recorded West Ham United purchase history and limited to only one ticket per person.
We must stress that the overwhelming majority of supporters who have visited London Stadium have supported the team exceptionally and behaved impeccably.”
Police commander BJ Harrington said: “There were a minority of people who attended the match that were clearly intent on being involved in confrontation and violence.
“Despite extensive work with both clubs and a large and robust policing operation, there were unacceptable incidents inside and outside the stadium, before, during and after the game.”
Chelsea season ticket holder Paul Streeter was sitting with his eight-year-old daughter Victoria in the disabled section of the ground when the child was hit by coins.
“My daughter was hit with seven coins all over her body,” said Mr Streeter. “We were watching the game in the front row near to the home fans – suddenly there’s a whole load of coins coming over. Other kids were hit, it was not just my daughter.
“Victoria has been going to football since she was two, she’s never experienced violence like this before or the aggression we have had to suffer. We want to take this matter further. It is disgusting.
“Stewards and police were not reacting. They should have dragged the crowd back and dealt with them.”
Slaven Bilic was keen to avoid questions on the topic and insisted that the press focus on the game instead, but the Croatian labelled the fans behaviour as “unacceptable”.
He said: “For those kind of things to happen, especially in England, is unacceptable.”