West Ham United have reluctantly accepted a ban on their supporters for next week’s Europa League match at Rapid Vienna after receiving written reasons for the sanction from UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, the club said on Wednesday. The Premier League side were issued with the ban for the match in Austria on Nov. 25 after crowd trouble at their Group H clash against Belgian team Genk earlier this month. West Ham initially said they were “surprised” by the sanction but accepted the decision on Wednesday after receiving evidence from European soccer’s governing body.
“Despite the club’s robust processes around our own security and operations in support of our ticketed fans who travelled to Genk, evidence has been presented to confirm that a small number of ticketless individuals caused disturbances and illegally gained entrance to Genk’s stadium,” the club said in a statement.
“West Ham condemn the behaviour of this group of individuals and we are working to identify them following their actions, which have now ultimately led to our supporters being punished and resulting in David Moyes’ team being forced to play in Austria without the backing of the club’s fans.”
West Ham said that supporters who had purchased tickets to the game would be refunded. However, many may not be able to get back the money they had spent on travel plans to Vienna.
Moyes’ team are top of Group H with 10 points from four matches, having not lost a game so far in their first European campaign in five years.