Soccer-Dutch police attempt to identify hooligans after West Ham attack
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch police will use a television programme on Tuesday to try and identify hooligans who attempted to attack family and friends of West Ham United players in Alkmaar last week.
Police say identifiable photos of suspects involved in the attack at the conclusion of Thursday’s Europa Conference League semi-final second leg between AZ Alkmaar and the London club had been collated and would be broadcast with the public asked to help identify them.
Several have already been identified, they added, and two have reported to a police station to admit their part in the fracas, the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Home supporters broke through a fence and attacked the West Ham contingent seated in a reserved section behind their own team’s dugout at the AZ Stadium at the final whistle.
A brawl ensued in which West Ham players, including captain Declan Rice, attempted to intervene, with several running to the aid of relatives and friends who were under threat.
The television programme is called “Opsporing verzocht” (investigation requested) and broadcasts appeals to, among other things, identify criminals caught on camera, suspects, missing persons or unidentified bodies.
Police said if anyone involved in the attack wanted to ensure their photograph would not be broadcast on national television had until 4pm Dutch time on Tuesday to report to the police.
The attack was condemned by AZ Alkmaar, who lost to West Ham, calling the actions of their supporters “shameful”.
Dutch football has been attempting to curtail violence on the terraces with new measures brought in last month to halt matches if objects are thrown onto the field.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)