By Graeme Hanna

24th May, 2023 | 2:10pm

West Ham United set to conduct Prague inspection over supporter security concerns ahead of UEFA Conference League

West Ham United representatives will travel to Prague in the coming days to conduct inspections on the fan zone arrangements being made by UEFA, as well as to review the ‘ring of steel’ that will surround the stadium, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Club security staff will assess the situation around the massive Europa Conference League decider with Fiorentina with obvious concerns following the ugly scenes witnessed in Alkmaar at the end of the semi-final victory over AZ.

Now, with demand far outweighing the supply of tickets for the awfully inadequate Eden Arena with its capacity of approximately 20,000 and both finalists allocated just 4,900 tickets, many thousands of ticketless fans are expected to follow their team to the Czech capital.

The Mail report from Will Hughes provided an update on developments, with around 25,000 Hammers expected to make the journey across Europe.

“In addition to inspecting the fan zones West Ham staff will also hold talks with local police over how the so-called ring of steel around the stadium will be enforced, as well as seeking to identify other areas of the city where their fans can congregate together in safety,” he said.

“Mail Sport revealed yesterday that 10,000 police officers will be drafted into Prague from all over the Czech Republic next month, with fears of trouble magnified by the attack on West Ham fans by AZ Alkmaar hooligans at last week’s semi-final second-leg in Holland.”

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UEFA made a stupid decision to award the final to such a modest venue so they will need to ensure, along with the local authorities in Prague, that adequate provisions are in place for those who will travel.

In recent years, with Liverpool’s Champions League final against Real Madrid at the Stade de France as well as Rangers’ experiences in last season’s Europa League final v Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville, there have been too many instances of the fans being an afterthought.

No duty of care, not enough provisions, facilities and respect to the people who matter most in the game.

West Ham and the club’s supporters have waited so long for an occasion like this and it can’t be allowed to be overshadowed by off-field issues.

It is right that the club is taking such pre-emptive measures, and pressure must be applied to UEFA, to ensure that the right arrangements are in place for the showpiece final.