By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

23rd Nov, 2021 | 4:10pm

Frank McAvennie reacts as West Ham midfielder Declan Rice deletes tweet to UEFA

We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium…

Frank McAvennie has defended Declan Rice after the West Ham midfielder was forced to delete his social media post directed at UEFA’s recent ruling.

Rice, 22, was reacting to the news that UEFA banned West Ham from selling tickets to their fans for Thursday’s trip to Rapid Vienna as a result of “crowd disturbances” in their previous Europa League fixture, away in Genk.

In a now-deleted tweet, Rice responded: “Laughable this is. Gutted for our fans that now won’t be able to make the trip! Did Rapid Vienna get fined or a ban of tickets for their ‘crowd disturbances’ at our stadium? Nope.”

Ex-Irons forward McAvennie has backed the England international on the issue, with the East London club also handed a £29,000 fine.

“I’m quite happy for the [vice] captain Rice to raise a few issues on it because it’s ridiculous,” McAvennie told West Ham Zone.

“He’s been there for many years now, the fans have not had this enjoyment of fighting for Europe.”

Pointless ban

UEFA’s decision to ban Hammers has proved rather futile anyway, due to Austria’s recent decision to impose a national lockdown.

That has prevented any spectators at Rapid’s stadium on Thursday, so there will not even be any home fans present in Vienna as the Irons bid to top their Europa League group with a game to spare.

In other West Ham news, this Manchester United-linked player has rejected a contract and announced his Irons exit on Instagram.

Be sure to follow West Ham Zone on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on the Hammers and more exclusive interviews with Frank McAvennie.