HomeFootballAZ Alkmaar Apologizes for Shameful Night

AZ Alkmaar Apologizes for Shameful Night


AZ Alkmaar have said that their Europa Conference League semi-final against West Ham is “a night to reflect on with shame” after a section of the stadium where away fans were sitting was attacked. Several West Ham players confronted the group of fans that had targeted an area containing their friends and family. AZ released a statement of apology, saying: “Unfortunately, we cannot use the word ‘supporters’ for these people.” The club also said they will “evaluate” the incident and do “everything possible, together with the authorities involved, to identify these persons and to take appropriate measures.” West Ham’s first-team coach Kevin Nolan has urged Uefa to issue tough punishments, saying: “If this was England, there would be lots of sanctions put on us. I hope they put loads of sanctions on the Dutch.”

A West Ham supporter who was in the area attacked by AZ fans said there were no police nearby and stewards could not cope, describing the incident at the AFAS Stadion as “scary”. Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma were among the players who tried to intervene, while the 87-year-old father of West Ham manager David Moyes was reportedly sat in the stands in the Netherlands. It is understood the families of the players were unharmed. West Ham won the game 1-0 for a 3-1 aggregate victory.

AZ Alkmaar manager Pascal Jansen said he was “a little bit ashamed” that the incident had happened in their stadium, while Pantelis Hatzidiakos was one of several AZ players who condemned the violence. Uefa will review reports of the incidents before deciding on any action. Dutch police said they were investigating footage of the incident but no arrests had been made. West Ham manager David Moyes said: “I was disappointed because I felt like it took the attention off the team and what we did. There was nothing we could do, or that West Ham as a club could do. Like anyone, if you saw your family members in trouble then you’d go and help out and that was the situation.”

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