West Ham fans halt Europa Conference League final after throwing missiles at Fiorentina players

The Europa Conference League final was temporarily halted after Fiorentina captain Cristiano Biraghi was hit by objects thrown by West Ham supporters.

Biraghi required treatment from medical staff in the first half after he was hit in the head by plastic cups and a vape pen, which caused a cut on the back of his head.

The Fiorentina defender was repeatedly targeted in the first half as he took corner kicks in front of the section where West Ham’s supporters were sat at the Eden Arena in Prague.

West Ham defender Nayef Aguerd then went over to West Ham’s supporters and pleaded with them to stop throwing objects at Fiorentina’s players.

Play then resumed after a four-minute stoppage, while the stadium announcer also instructed supporters to refrain from throwing objects.

Cristiano Biraghi was pelted with cups and objects as he went to take a corner (BT Sport)

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - JUNE 7: A steward begins removing plastic pint glasses from the pitch which had been thrown at Cristiano Biraghi of Fiorentina by West Ham United fans during the UEFA Europa Conference League 2022/23 final match between ACF Fiorentina and West Ham United FC at Eden Arena on June 7, 2023 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - JUNE 07: Cristiano Biraghi of ACF Fiorentina receives medical treatment as Declan Rice of West Ham United interacts with him during the UEFA Europa Conference League 2022/23 final match between ACF Fiorentina and West Ham United FC at Eden Arena on June 07, 2023 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

A message on the giant screen inside the stadium read: ‘Attention please! This is an important security announcement. Stop throwing objects onto the pitch immediately! Please respect the players and officials. Thank you!’

Speaking at half time, former West Ham midfielder Joe Cole said: ‘It’s moronic behaviour, it really is.

‘We praise West Ham fans, rightly so, they’ve been well behaved, but it only takes a handful of idiots to do something like that.

‘These lads are coming onto the pitch to play football. I had it myself at times when you get hit with things, if someone takes someone’s eye out or something.. it needs to be sorted out and taken out of the game.’

A statement from West Ham read: ‘West Ham United unreservedly condemn the behaviour of a small number of individuals who threw objects onto the pitch during tonight’s UEFA Europa Conference League final.

‘These actions have no place in football, and do not in any way represent the values of our football club and the overwhelming majority of our supporters, who have behaved impeccably in Prague this week and throughout our last two seasons in European competition.

‘We will work with the police and other stakeholders to review the incidents and act against anyone found guilty of an offence.

‘In line with our zero-tolerance approach, anyone identified will have their details passed to the police and will be given an indefinite ban and therefore be unable to enter London Stadium and travel with the club.

‘There is no place for this kind of behaviour at West Ham United.’


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