20 July 2024

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David Moyes doesn’t think the West Ham players will be punished for trying to protect their families and friends from charging AZ Alkmaar hooligans on Thursday night.

The Hammers booked their place in the final of the European Conference League after beating the Dutch side 1-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. However, West Ham’s win was marred by trouble following the full-time whistle as hundreds of home fans stormed towards the travelling contingent.

A video shared on social media showed Declan Rice, Said Benrahma, Flynn Downes and Michail Antonio attempting to stop the Alkmaar fans from getting to their loved-ones. But it has since been reported that those four players could be banned for the Conference League final against Fiorentina by UEFA.

When asked about the potential sanction, Moyes said: “I can’t see any problem, to be honest. I work with UEFA on the technical stuff and I don’t think we’ll have any questions asked about that, that’s my own opinion.”

It was frightening experience for several West Ham players and their families and friends, but life-long supporter Chris Knoll, known as ‘Knollsy’, decided to step in and fight the Dutch ultras himself. He managed to fend off the home supporters and save those Hammers from being potentially attacked.

Knoll, who was present at West Ham’s game against Leeds on Sunday, received a standing ovation for how he stepped in to save the day. His name was also chanted around the London Stadium to thank his work and the bravery to fight off the Alkmaar fans.

Supporters sang: “We love you Knollsy, we do,” as he took his seat in the ground ahead of the clash with Sam Allardyce’s Leeds side. Following the shocking scenes in Alkmaar, Knoll has explained why he decided to step in.

West Ham fans were attacked by AZ Alkmaar ultras

 

He said: “I don’t like bullies. You could see they were intent on causing trouble and I did not want them to get to those behind us. I saw them all congregate on the side of the pitch and then they broke down the barriers and headed to the first group of West Ham fans.

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