The Premier League match between West Ham United and Burnley on Saturday witnessed ugly scenes as the Hammers' fans invaded the pitch during the game, causing a massive commotion. The club now faces a disciplinary probe from the Football Association after the troubled club's owners David Gold and David Sullivan were forced to vacate when fans ran riot across the stadium. Hundreds of fans had gathered close to the executive seats amid chants of "you killed our club" and "sack the board". West Ham United captain Mark Noble pinned one fan down to the ground and his team-mate James Collins asked the remaining two fans to leave. Burnley players gave up their seats on the bench to protect young West Ham fans from a group of agitated fans.
West Ham fan with the corner flag at the game today. pic.twitter.com/JjbnQIEeUH— Football Away Days (@AwayDays_) March 10, 2018
West Ham said an emergency meeting had been called with all London Stadium stakeholders, which includes Gold and Sullivan, whose decision to uproot the club from Upton Park to Stratford has caused resentment.
The FA is also set to launch a probe, with a spokesman saying, "The FA strongly condemns the crowd disturbances seen today at West Ham United versus Burnley and will be seeking observations from West Ham as well as awaiting the match referee's report."
The east London club, currently three points above the relegation zone, could be hit with a heavy fine or even forced to play matches behind closed doors as punishment for the disturbances.
In their own statement, the Premier League said, "It is essential that everybody who plays or attends a Premier League football match can do so safely.
"There is no place at any level of the game for what happened at the London Stadium.
"While the official investigation of the incidents will be carried out by the Football Association, we will be asking our own questions of West Ham United about what happened this afternoon, especially to ensure similar events never reoccur."
West Ham United manager David Moyes condemned the ugly scenes. "As a supporter, you can't cross the line. You can't come on the pitch. That's the rule," Moyes said. "What we need is the club, supporters, players, everyone, is to pull together."
Noble, who was at the centre of a controversy, for pinning down a fan, admitted the situation was out of control.
"I'm a West Ham fan and I've always protected the club. But if someone approaches me, I'll protect myself," he said of his clash with the fan.
"It's been like this for the past two seasons since we moved to this stadium.
"Every time we lose we and the board get a lot of stick. It seemed today that the fans had had enough.
"The atmosphere was horrible. We know a lot of it isn't aimed at the players, but we have to be man enough to play in that atmosphere."
Burnley manager Sean Dyche was relieved the poisonous atmosphere didn't end in his players suffering harm.
"When we scored the second the atmosphere changed," he said.
"We know people can't come on the pitch but I can't imagine it was dangerous for the players.
"Hopefully there are better times ahead for West Ham."
(With AFP Inputs)