Soccer:AZ Alkmaar ban fans and boost security after West Ham attack

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa Conference League - Semi Final - Second Leg - AZ Alkmaar v West Ham United - AFAS Stadion, Alkmaar, Netherlands - May 18, 2023 AZ Alkmaar fans with flares REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw/File Photo

(Reuters) - AZ Alkmaar said on Friday they had taken significant measures including multiple bans on fans plus enhanced stadium security after the trouble that followed their Europa Conference League semi-final, second leg at home to West Ham United last week.

The visitors won 1-0 on Thursday to claim a place in the June 7 final against Fiorentina with a 3-1 aggregate victory but the match was overshadowed by family and friends of the West Ham squad being set upon after the whistle while celebrating.

Home supporters broke through a fence to confront the West Ham contingent seated in a reserved section at the AZ Stadium.

The club have issued 43 stadium bans on fans and will not sell alcohol in the Van der Ben stand where the 'ultras' sit for Sunday's match with PSV Eindhoven. AZ have also hung nets around the visitors section and will bring in more stewards.

"It is a pity that these measures have to be taken, but after the events of last week, there was no other way," AZ General Director Robert Eenhoorn said in a statement.

The Dutch club added that more bans could follow and that they were cooperating with the authorities' investigation.

AZ have already secured a top-four finish which brings a place in the Europa Conference League qualifiers next season.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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