Police will be on hand and poised to avoid a repeat of Manchester United visit to Upton Park back in May. The United bus was unable to get into the stadium and caused a match delay of 45 minutes. The spectacle was, sadly, not the worst on the day as fighting broke out before, during, and after the match. Arrests were made and police launched investigations towards finding certain individuals.
London stadium has what is being called a ‘sterile entrance’ for visiting players that is clear of any supporters. A new route is planned to the stadium for the visiting bus as well as a new hotel in London. Every precaution is being taken to stave off any attempted ambush like the one we witnessed last May.
West Ham United have been vehement in their opposition of hooliganism and have issued bans to several fans. Slaven Bilic echoed the club’s sentiments on the mob’s nonsensical behavior. New policy dictates that anyone found to be misbehaving will be instantly banned.
While that may seem harsh, the bans and united front from the club seem to be paying off as there hasn’t been an incident since October’s clash with Chelsea. Police officials have spoken on the matter saying:
Where possible, officers will also pursue football banning orders against individuals convicted of any football-related offences. So far this season, there have been five banning orders issued to fans who have committed offences at West Ham games.
One anonymous fan told the DailyStar they are worried about the atmosphere tomorrow:
Everyone knows about the rivalry and considering the time of year it’s a recipe for trouble,” the source said. “We’ve had our problems this season and I worry about this match – particularly after what happened last year.
Whether on the pitch, or off, the heated tension between this growing rivalry will inevitably boil over.