West Ham take on Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday – but trouble has already started in Prague after some fans were attacked outside a pub.
Group of Italians attacked West ham supporters in Prague the night before the Europa Conference League final.
A gang of Fiorentina “ultras” used chairs and fireworks as weapons in nasty pre-match scenes as they targeted supporters. Following the attack, 30 guys were detained, according to the police.
David Moyes’ team takes against Fiorentina in an effort to capture their first major prize since 1980. They won a tight semi-final game against AZ Alkmaar 3-1 to advance to the final against the Serie A team, who won a thrilling 4-3 triumph against Basel to get there.
However, there were worries that difficulty could arise again against Fiorentina after it did during West Ham’s second-leg journey to Alkmaar. Footage from the time leading up to the game on Wednesday afternoon shows West Ham supporters being attacked outside of a bar.
The two groups of supporters began to fight, and there was glass all over the street as a result. Police flooded the area in an effort to quell the unrest as bottles and smoke bombs appeared to be thrown as well.
One West Ham fan, who did not want to be named, said “a large group” of Italian supporters attacked the Tek’ila Tek’ila bar in Rytirska Street. “About eight Italians walked past, swinging bands and chains,” he told Sky News. “Five minutes later there was a big group that come down the road and attacked us.
“Three of our mates (were injured). They’ve gone to hospital.” The fan said one of his friends was “quite badly” injured with a “massive cut” on his head.
Another eyewitness said: “There were five to 10 Italian guys across the street. They had weapons, and [Italian] and English fans were attacking each-other. There were a lot of bombs, a lot of fireworks. There is so much glass. No-one was really hurt, apart from two to three English people.”
Regarding the actual game, The Hammers are hoping to make more history, and David Moyes is looking forward to his team’s upcoming challenge. “I wonder what it means for West Ham to be in a European final,” he remarked. I think people wouldn’t have believed us if we had said this at the beginning of the season.
“It’s a big achievement to get through to a European final. It’s not easy to get all the way through and we’ve been competitive. It’s a great achievement for all the players and the next part is to see if we can go on and win it.”
Jarrod Bowen also previewed the game. He said: “This is massive. I’ve been here three years and, if you told me three years ago we’d be in a European final, I’d bite your hand off. We were disappointed last year but that’s given us extra motivation this year. The fans are travelling out here and they’re incredible. We want to win it for us, but mainly for the fans.”