West Ham: AZ Alkmaar fans detained over attack as Dutch police hunt for 10 more
Seven AZ Alkmaar fans have been detained by police following a television appeal in the aftermath of last week's shameful attack on family members of West Ham players and staff.
At the full-time whistle in Thursday night’s Europa Conference League semi-final second-leg, Alkmaar ultras broke through a barrier to set upon the travelling West Ham contingent as they celebrated their side’s historic 3-1 aggregate victory, which saw David Moyes’s side qualify for the club’s first major European final in 47 years.
A total of 26 men reported themselves to police after Dutch authorities used television programme Opsporing Verzocht, similar to the BBC’s now-defunct ‘Crimewatch’, to air CCTV images of the suspects involved in the incident at AFAS Stadion and appeal for help in identifying them. Of those, seven have been detained, but police in Holland say a further ten suspects are still being sought.
"There were people who we were not initially looking for, but who were afraid that they were in one of the photos," a police spokesman told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. "It is therefore not the case that they are automatically all suspected of open violence.”
Alkmaar are expected to face a hefty punishment from Uefa over the incident - likely to include a fine and partial or even full stadium closure - having already been sanctioned by the governing body for poor fan behaviour twice in the past 15 months.
Uefa are yet to decide whether to launch a separate investigation into the incident, but it is understood that no charges are likely to be brought against either club until after next month’s final in Prague, where West Ham will meet Italian side Fiorentina.
Already, though, there have been repercussions in the Netherlands, with away fans banned from Sunday’s 3-0 win at NEC Nijmegen.