By Peter Lynch

26th May, 2023 | 10:10am

AZ Alkmaar issue swift punishment to fans following Europa Conference League loss v West Ham United

AZ Alkmaar have issued 43 stadium bans following the crowd trouble in their match against West Ham on Thursday (18 May).

Home fans targeted an area of the stadium containing the friends and families of the West Ham players following the Europa Conference League clash.

The Hammers won the semi-final second leg clash in the Netherlands 1-0 to secure a 3-1 aggregate victory.

“AZ has now issued 43 stadium bans in response to last week’s disturbances,” a statement from the club read, as quoted by BBC Sport. “It concerns visitors who were involved in the misconduct surrounding the European semi-final in Alkmaar.

“It is by no means excluded that even more local stadium bans will be imposed. Apart from this decision from the club, the criminal investigation by the authorities is still ongoing.”

Swift action

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The scenes really were ugly following the match in the Netherlands, with many home supporters massively letting themselves and their club down.

There is no place for such actions at football matches, with those fans seemingly having no intention of actually watching the game.

In stark contrast, this swift action from AZ is superb to see, with the club working quickly to punish the people involved.

Such action often takes time, but the Dutch outfit have carried out their investigations rapidly and have rightfully banned those who were responsible, with further bans expected to arrive in the near future.

Quite simply, the culpable parties should not be allowed to watch their team ever again given their disgraceful and ultimately futile actions.

Those home supporters did their best to spoil the West Ham party, but nothing could hold back the celebrations of the players in the end, with the Hammers reaching their first major European final since 1976.