West Ham to investigate reports of fans attacking German broadcasters during Frankfurt loss

29 April 2022 11:40

West Ham United will investigate claims that home fans attacked German broadcasters during their Europa League semi-final first leg defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

The Hammers fell behind to a first-minute goal from Ansgar Knauff before Michail Antonio equalised midway through the first half, but Daichi Kamada's tap-in after the interval saw the Bundesliga side claim a valuable win on the road.

However, reports filtered through during the match that home fans had attacked Tim Brockmeier and Philipp Hofmeister - commentators from German radio station ARD - after Antonio's leveller, and West Ham are looking into the incident which could lead to a UEFA charge.

"The club is aware of the incident and will be working to identify the offender,” West Ham's statement read. "In line with our zero-tolerance approach, anyone identified will have their details passed to the police. They will be given an indefinite ban and be unable to enter London Stadium and travel with the club. There is no place for this kind of behaviour."

Bundesliga commentator Derek Rae wrote on Twitter that Brockmeier had been 'struck on the neck' following Knauff's opener and the abuse snowballed from there.

"Both commentators have been asked again on air about their experience. They expressed some surprise about the proximity to fans. They were in the last row of the press area with fans behind them. They felt the fans seemed taken aback by their emotional comms on Knauff goal. Then later when the equaliser went in, multiple strikes and his headphones dislodged," Rae said.

Speaking on air during the match, Hofmeister said: "We are being attacked here. They threw the headset down on my colleague Tim. I have to sort myself out a bit. We have to see that we can get some security personnel here."

Brockmeier and Hofmeister were moved to a more secure location at half-time, with the London Stadium's media zones infamous for how easily accessible they can be to match-going fans.

"You constantly have the feeling that something could come from behind - a punch of something," Hofmeister added. "My dreams of English football have been shattered."

Source: 90min