West Ham set for big UEFA fine after fans cause gruesome injury to Fiorentina star

West Ham United could be set for a huge fine if UEFA come down hard on them after one of their fans struck Fiorentina defender Cristiano Biraghi with an object thrown from the stands during the Europa Conference League final. The Hammers were level with their Italian opponents during the early stages of their first European final for 47 years before Biraghi was left pouring with blood when he was hit on the back of the head.

The object, which appeared to resemble a disposable vape pen, was picked up by the referee and handed to the fourth official while Barzaghi was receiving on-pitch medical attention to close the wound. He was able to continue playing after his head was bandaged up by medics but looked furious at what had happened and it seems likely that West Ham will be punished as a result of the ugly incident.

UEFA will almost certainly be taking action against the Hammers, who have fallen foul of European football's governing body on several occasions over the last two seasons. Their fans were banned from attending last season's Europa League match at Rapid Wien after clashing with Genk supporters, which led to West Ham being formally charged with crowd disturbances and throwing objects from the stands.

They were also fined more than £25,000 for the incidents, which took place just months after the club received another fine totalling £50,000 due to crowd trouble during their home victory over Wien earlier in the campaign. West Ham were fined once again in May last year following their Europa League semi-final first-leg match against Eintracht Frankfurt in response to disorder at the London Stadium.

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It seems clear that another financial punishment may soon be heading West Ham's way as a result of what happened against Fiorentina, given the severity of the injury caused to Biraghi when he was struck by the object. However, it remains to be seen which steps UEFA will take against the club in order to hammer home the point that such behaviour from supporters is not acceptable in football at any level.

Former West Ham midfielder Joe Cole was covering the match as a pundit on BT Sport and did not mince his words when asked to offer his thoughts on the incident, although he stressed that the vast majority of fans were not involved and cannot be blamed for the actions of a tiny minority.


"It's moronic behaviour," said Cole. "It really is. We've praised the West Ham fans and rightly so, they've been very well-behaved. It only takes a handful of idiots to so something like that.

"These lads are coming onto the pitch to play football. I've had it myself at times when I've been hit with things. It could take someone's eye out or something, so it needs to be sorted out and taken out of the game."

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