‘Jumped in, but this was too powerful for me too’
AZ general manager Robert Eenhoorn regrets the riots that took place last night after the lost game against West Ham United (0-1), in the Conference League semifinals. Supporters of AZ broke through a fence immediately after the match and sought confrontation with supporters of West Ham United in the main stand.
“I still jumped between them, but this was also too powerful for me. I was too late to address people,” Eenhoorn said afterwards. “You hope the fence holds, but this was not the case. This did not go well and ultimately I am ultimately responsible. Internally we are going to talk about this, because it all went very fast with me as well.”
Some West Ham players got involved in the riots. They ran toward the main stand to help family members and friends who were being attacked.
Troubled all day
Earlier in the day, there was unrest in the city. Eenhoorn noticed before the game that the unrest also moved to the stadium. “I’m always downstairs right before the game and I already noticed that there was a lot of noise. Last week it was also a bit noisy there, but here we were late. It’s disappointing how this night ended. I can’t blame the guys on the field much,” Eenhoorn said.
AZ coach Pascal Jansen says he is ashamed of the disturbances at the stadium. He did not initially realize exactly what was happening. “Then I looked obliquely up to the back and saw that quite a few blows were being dealt. I then immediately turned my gaze to my players and staff members and tried to keep them away.”
“It’s annoying, it doesn’t belong in our stadium. Preferably not in any stadium. I feel shame. People will have experienced anxious moments. You still have to control your emotions, even on a night of defeat,” said Jansen
Police officers and stewards managed to prevent further escalation in the stands. No one was arrested, several people were injured.
At last week’s game in London, there was also unrest. Several AZ supporters had to leave the stadium after being attacked by West Ham supporters.