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Premier League: Fans invade West Ham-Burnley match; club owner slams security arrangements

By Dom Farrell
West Ham United fans resorted to invading the pitch after seeing their side lose 0-3 against Burnley

London, March 11: West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has criticised police and stewards at London Stadium after fan protests during Saturday's 3-0 defeat against Burnley spilled over to a shocking extent. Fans invaded the field after Burnley's second-half goals, with one wrestled to the ground by Mark Noble after confronting the West Ham captain, while another individual planted a corner flag in the middle of the pitch.

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A separate group of supporters congregated below the directors' box and directed their anger towards Sullivan and fellow owner David Gold, who were ushered from their seats as a safety precaution.

West Ham issued a statement after the match, pledging a "full and thorough investigation" into how events deteriorated to such a staggering extent, but Sullivan has already apportioned a degree of the blame.

"We feel very badly let down by the stadium operators appointed by the Mayor's staff," he told Mirror Sport.

"Where were the stewards and police?"

The Premier League strongly condemned the incidents at the site of the London 2012 Olympics, while the Football Association will seek observations from West Ham and the match officials.

David Moyes' side are 16th in the Premier League, three points above the relegation zone, after losing four of their past five matches and face fellow strugglers Southampton at home in their next top-flight game on March 31.

Omnisport contacted the London Mayor's office, the Metropolitan Police, stadium operator Vinci and stewarding contractor Show and Event for comment but has not received a response.

Earlier, West Ham manager David Moyes said the referee did not consider abandoning the Premier League game against Burnley despite strong scenes of crowd unrest.

Referee Lee Mason stopped the match momentarily following one of the pitch invasions, with a West Ham fan having attempted to plant the corner flag in the centre circle.

But, despite the official speaking with Moyes and Burnley manager Sean Dyche on the sidelines, the Scot confirmed an abandonment was never an option.

"No, not at any time," Moyes said at a post-match news conference.

"Actually the big thing was to say get on with it - keep playing.

"I can honestly say I never saw any police. I didn't even look around to see if there was anybody there.

"I was on the touchline looking on to the pitch, trying to get us back in the game.

"The supporters will have their reasons for it. They have ways of venting that .

"But the rule is that you cannot come on to the pitch - you're not allowed."

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Sunday, March 11, 2018, 16:30 [IST]
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