West Ham’s London Stadium call in extra police officers and stewards over fears THOUSANDS of ticketless Frankfurt fans will turn up for their Europa League semi-final, after the Germans bought 30,000 to the Nou Camp for win over Barcelona
- West Ham are braced for one of the biggest games held at the London Stadium
- The Hammers are on the brink of reaching a first European final since 1976
- But Frankfurt tie could bring arrival of tens of thousands of ticketless fans
- Both clubs have been working with stadium operators and police in preparation
West Ham United are keen to ensure their Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt passes without trouble, with extra police officers called in to help control potential unrest in the stands.
There are fears that the German side will bring over thousands of ticketless supporters for the first leg of the tie on Thursday week, after 30,000 arrived for their quarter-final success over Barcelona.
But discussions have already taken place and are continuing between both clubs, the London Stadium operators and police over how to control the much anticipated clash.
Extra stewards are also set to be put in place for what will be one of the biggest matches hosted at the ground since West Ham moved in from Upton Park ahead of the 2016-17 season.
According to the Mirror there will be ‘enhanced steward and security resources and this will be integrated with significant police planning.’
Chaos ensued during Frankfurt’s quarter-final victory at Barcelona when around 15,000 of the travelling fans were able to buy tickets in the home areas of the stadium leading to Nou Camp president Joan Laporta calling the situation a ‘disgrace’ that left him ‘feeling embarrassed’.
Barcelona boss Xavi claimed the breach had an impact on the overall result of the tie, with Frankfurt’s 3-2 win on the night allowing them to progress 4-3 on aggregate.
West Ham are preparing for an increased police presence for their semi-final with Frankfurt
Extra stewards inside the stadium are also set to be deployed for the Europa League tie
Xavi said: ‘The players did not feel like they were playing at home.
‘It’s not an excuse, but the atmosphere conditioned us. We were not comfortable. I had a bad feeling from the first moment when we got on the bus at the hotel and we did not feel at home.’
Chances of a similar event were heightened when West Ham had initially claimed that any unsold tickets offered to club members would go on general sale on Thursday.
Frankfurt fans found their way into the home areas during their quarter-final win at Barcelona
Barca boss Xavi insisted the number of away fans at the Nou Camp had an impact on the tie
However, with the match being one of the Hammers’ biggest in years it is expected that any home seats will be sold out before the tickets become up for grabs for anybody to purchase.
West Ham have enjoyed a memorable European campaign having already eliminated Sevilla and Lyon in the knock-out stages of the Europa League.
Should they triumph in the last four they will reach a first European final since the Cup-Winners’ Cup in 1976 as they look to taste continental glory since winning the now defunct competition in 1965.
West Ham United are looking to reach their first major European final since 1976