AZ Alkmaar pursuing further action after West Ham incident left family members 'terrified'

AZ Alkmaar have vowed to take further action after the families of their players and staff - including the wife and two children of manager Pascal Jansen - had to be removed by London Stadium security for their own safety following an altercation with a section of West Ham supporters during Thursday night's UEFA Conference League semi-final.

The alleged incident is understood to have taken place in the main stand behind the teams' dugouts after Tijjani Reijnders opened the scoring for AZ in the 41st minute.

It's said that a number of West Ham supporters took offence to the celebrations from the AZ club delegates and family members, sparking a heated verbal altercation which prompted the intervention of London Stadium security staff.

After witnessing the fracas, AZ general manager Robert Eenhoorn quickly rushed to the scene of confrontation, later stating: "They were then taken to another place high in the stadium. But there they were around some of the most dangerous supporters of West Ham... I was only concerned with the safety of our people."

An AZ club spokesperson has since disclosed to Express Sport that they will be pursuing further action with the relevant authorities - meaning we may not have heard the last of the incident.

They said: "The most important take away is that all of our people were kept safe or have been brought back into safety as soon as possible. Further actions on the issue will be taken up behind the scenes with the direct parties involved."

Immediately after the fiercely-contested tie, which eventually saw West Ham come from behind to win 2-1 following second-half goals from Said Benrahma and Michail Antonio, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf were reporting that the families of the AZ players and staff were 'attacked and chased out' by sections of the home supporters.

West Ham sources have since strongly dismissed those claims having rewatched the incident - described as 'nothing more than a verbal altercation' - on CCTV.

AZ boss Jansen was keen to play down the events after his side's defeat, telling reporters in his post-match press conference: "I understand that they are fine.

"I don't make a fuss of it. It happened. They weren't happy. They were taken care of. We get on with the game."

He later added in a separate interview: "I just spoke to them, but everything is fine now. There was some consternation after our goal. They were shocked but they are now safe and in good condition on the bus."

The events will seemingly add extra fuel to the fire ahead of next week's second leg decider at the AFAS stadium in Holland.

West Ham travel to Brentford on Sunday afternoon as they look to take another step towards securing Premier League safety for another season.

Meanwhile, AZ host FC Emmen in the Eredivisie this weekend as they continue to hunt down PSV and Ajax in their quest for Champions League or Europa League football.

Speaking on Friday, David Moyes finally conceded that Hammers captain Declan Rice could potentially depart east London this summer when he will enter the final 12 months of his current Irons deal.

“We honestly hope Dec stays, that is the biggest thing,” Moyes said of his skipper. “We would love him to be a West Ham player but we are aware that might not be the case. That is one of the scenarios.

“Our plans are to have Dec here but we are also fully aware there is a good chance that we don’t have him.”

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