Seven men were arrested following ugly scenes which left the London Stadium like a ‘bomb site’ in the aftermath of West Ham’s EFL Cup win over Chelsea.
Riot police were required to break up trouble as rival fans clashed in the stands and gangways, with the stunned inhabitants of nearby residential flats describing the scene outside the ground as a ‘bomb site’.
The game, which was expected to provide the first significant test of the policing and stewarding procedures employed at West Ham’s new home, largely passed off without incident until the closing stages when opposing fans hurled coins, which according to one report struck a young child, and plastic seats at one another.
Security had been boosted for a London derby which has a history of violence and hooliganism, but even a recently imposed alcohol ban failed to prevent the outbreak of ugly scenes which left several fans nursing cuts, while one young Chelsea fan was pictured holding a coin which had been hurled from the West Ham end.
Both clubs were quick to condemn the shameful scenes, while the Football Association are certain to launch their own independent investigation.
‘West Ham United and London Stadium partners unreservedly condemn the behaviour of individuals involved in incidents during this evening’s fixture with Chelsea,’ a West Ham statement read.
‘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.’
One West Ham fan was pictured nursing a cut head caused by projectile thrown from rival fans
As well as seven arrests, police confirmed around 30 people were issued with directions under antisocial behaviour laws.
Rebecca Pate, 32, a trade support manager from Stratford, was returning from the gym when she was caught up in crowds of fans streaming out of the stadium.
She told the Evening Standard: ‘There was chanting and hollering. Trying to manoeuvre through the crowds was horrible. There was a lot of police, sirens and helicopters.
‘There are a lot of flats around here it’s a residential area. People were streaming down the road with alcohol on them – big groups of lads making a racket. They were chanting and screaming. It’s unnerving walking home feeling like you’re walking through a bomb site.’
Metropolitan Police Commander BJ Harrington, who was leading the police operation at the game, added: ‘Although the vast majority of people left the stadium peacefully and were well behaved, 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 the London Stadium partners as well as a large and robust policing operation, there were unacceptable incidents inside and outside the stadium, before, during and after the game.’