West Ham fans brawl as team implodes with loss to Watford
LONDON (AP) West Ham fans brawled in the Olympic Stadium as their team imploded on the pitch, throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 to Watford in the English Premier League on Saturday.
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West Ham supporters fought among themselves, and clashed with stewards and Watford fans at their new stadium in east London.
“West Ham unreservedly condemn the behavior of the individuals involved in incidents during today’s fixture against Watford,” West Ham said in a statement. “While these isolated incidents were quickly brought under control, this behavior has no place in football and West Ham will work tirelessly to eradicate such incidents.”
West Ham was known for having an organized group of hostile supporters called the “Inter City Firm,” which was active mostly in the 70s and 80s and at away games. The movie “Green Street,” released in 2005, was based on the group.
Although behavior among West Ham fans significantly improved in recent years, the club’s last game at Upton Park in May was overshadowed by the Manchester United team bus being attacked.
West Ham said it will ban fans involved in the latest disorder for life from attending games.
“We are currently undertaking an immediate full review with all stakeholders,” the club said. “We will work with the police and other stakeholders to identify the individuals involved.”
West Ham’s collapse allowed new Watford manager Walter Mazzarri to claim his first win of the campaign.
Michail Antonio put West Ham in front with two headers in the opening 33 minutes. But Watford scored four goals in a 22-minute spell around halftime, starting with Odion Ighalo’s deflected shot in the 41st minute.
Troy Deeney pounced on a defensive mistake to make it 2-2 in first-half injury time, Etienne Capoue scored his third goal of the season, and Jose Holebas finished off the comeback with a low shot that West Ham goalkeeper Adrian should have saved.