March 11, 2018 / 1:32 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer: Hostile West Ham fans must stay away during final games, says Brooking

(Reuters) - West Ham United fans that contributed to the toxic atmosphere at the London Stadium during Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League defeat by Burnley should stay away from the London outfit’s remaining home matches, the hosts’ former striker Trevor Brooking said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United vs Burnley - London Stadium, London, Britain - March 10, 2018 West Ham United fans react as police and stewards look on REUTERS/David Klein

West Ham’s defeat at the London Stadium was marred by several pitch invasions, scuffles in the stands and fans taunting owners David Sullivan and David Gold, both of whom were escorted away from the directors’ box for safety reasons.

Club legend Brooking was left almost alone in the directors’ box as West Ham slumped to their fourth league defeat in five matches, leaving them three points above the relegation zone in 16th position with eight games left in the campaign.

“Just don’t come to the games at the moment until you try to allow the players to get the points to stay up,” Brooking told BBC Radio 5. “There is no way the team is going to play and get the points to stay up under that sort of atmosphere. It is impossible.

“That atmosphere must never come back in the last five (home) games otherwise the club is in serious trouble and the players won’t be able to deliver.

“All I would say... is ‘anyone who has got that aggressive frustration just don’t come to the five home games that are left’ because we need everyone... all working together to try to get sufficient results.”

Brooking also said that co-owner Sullivan was struck in the face by a coin after Burnley’s third goal led to West Ham supporters directing their anger towards the directors’ box.

“Before the final whistle, two of the directors went upstairs - were asked by the security people to do so,” Brooking added.

“I think a coin did hit David Sullivan on his glasses. I didn’t see it but I did have that confirmed, which was part of the reason why they thought people in the directors’ box should go inside to save any more problems like that.”

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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