Met Police to be present inside London Stadium for West Ham vs Southampton
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 16/03/18 10:17am
The Metropolitan Police will be present in the London Stadium for West Ham's match against Southampton on March 31.
West Ham officials met with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the stadium's landlords, the ground's operators and Newham Council on Thursday to discuss the incidents that marred their match with Burnley last weekend.
Four supporters invaded the pitch during the 3-0 loss to Burnley, while a large group of fans congregated beneath the directors' box to protest against the club's co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan.
As well as police being present inside the stadium, there will also be increased stewarding and enhanced pitch security for the game against Southampton.
The Met Police were previously deployed inside the London Stadium following clashes between West Ham and Chelsea supporters and were present for the match against Stoke in November 2016.
A spokesperson on behalf of the London Safety Advisory Group, said: "The Safety Advisory Group for London Stadium has today met to discuss the serious disorder last weekend.
"The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) recognises discontent among fans cannot be allowed to compromise the safety and wellbeing of the majority of spectators at the stadium.
"The SAG has been working closely with London Stadium 185 (LS185), E20 and West Ham United to understand the sequence of events leading to the disorder. We have instructed the stadium operators to make changes to prevent a repetition.
"The SAG has seen evidence that the level of disorder would have been difficult for any safety management team to contain. Following today's meeting the SAG is reassured that safety is LS185's top priority.
"The SAG has made specific requests to the stadium operators for the next fixture including: Police will be present inside and outside the stadium, bolstering the response teams, restricting access to the area in front of the directors' box and a review of spectator movement around the stadium.
"In addition, LS185 and West Ham United have made great strides in identifying the trouble makers and have been very clear that those guilty of violent or aggravating conduct will be banned from the stadium. It is anticipated these stadium bans will be in place for the next home fixture against Southampton on 31 March.
"The SAG acts as the advisory body to Newham Council in its safety certifying role. Following reassurances that have been given, it is the SAG's view that the council does not need to use the ultimate sanction, which would see capacity reduced at the venue and spectators excluded. The remaining homes games will be closely monitored.
"The SAG must make clear that in the event of future disorder, it would seriously consider advising the certifying authority to take forward this sanction. Playing behind closed doors would be a great shame for the majority of fans who wish to watch and support their team in safety."
Following the match against Burnley, West Ham confirmed they would hand lifetime bans to the fans who invaded the pitch and threw missiles in the direction of the directors' box.