By Anthony Onifade

20th May, 2023 | 1:10pm

West Ham United: Players cannot be blamed for 'Absolutely shocking' scenes v AZ - Robbie Savage

Football pundit Robbie Savages believes West Ham United players cannot be blamed for the “absolutely shocking” scenes that arose after their Europa Conference League semi-final win over AZ Alkmaar.

West Ham players confronted a group of AZ Alkmaar fans who attacked an area in which their friends and family were watching the teams’ Europa Conference League semi-final second leg.

Hammers stars Michail Antonio, Flynn Downes and Said Benrahma were among those who tried to intervene in the clashes moments after they had reached the final.

And speaking in his weekly column for the Daily Mirror newspaper [20 May], Savage could not believe that the families of the West Ham United players were subjected to such “mindless violence”.

He said: “Nobody in their right mind should blame West Ham players for getting involved in the shocking scenes of their families and friends being ambushed by hooligans in Alkmaar.

“If you see your loved ones or mates being attacked, it’s human nature to step in and try and protect them.

“It’s absolutely shocking that they were subjected to such mindless violence and that the authorities didn’t seem to do anything to stop it.”

Shocking indeed

What was supposed to be a rejoiceful and celebratory night for the players, their loved ones and fans instead turned into a shocking brawl which was started by the Alkmaar fanbase.

Indeed, the West Ham United players simply cannot be blamed for trying to step in and defend their loved ones and credit to those fans who held firm amongst all the violence that took place.

This simply cannot happen, and it’s time UEFA takes some sort of action to ensure that this doesn’t occur again in the future. Most fans want to travel abroad to support their team in Europe, not be involved in all-out brawls with the opposition support.

Let’s hope none of the West Ham United player’s families all loved ones have been scarred by this shocking incident. What are the repercussions for Alkmaar and those fans who started the brawl? Something has got to be done about it.