West Ham fans face life bans as hundreds go on bloody rampage in night of shame against Millwall at Upton Park
Both the FA and West Ham have vowed to hand out life bans to the troublemakers after the night of shame in the Carling Cup clash with Millwall. The Hammers could face a huge fine and may be thrown out of the competition. Millwall could also be hit by a fine but West Ham will face the biggest punishment as the incidents occurred at their ground.
(...) Scores of rival hooligans were involved in missile throwing and innocent fans claimed it was 'like a war zone' and that they feared for their lives.
The violence overshadowed an emotional night for Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola, whose team won their tie 3-1after extra time. Fighting broke out before kick-off as organised groups fought running battles in the streets. Police said the trouble had been 'pre-planned'.
The FA will assess how West Ham dealt with the trouble, and whether stewarding and pitch invasion preventions were sufficient. One steward on duty claimed a number of colleagues failed to turn up for work because they were frightened of potential trouble.
A police helicopter flew overhead to monitor trouble spots but fighting quickly escalated. Aaron Smith, from Hemel Hempstead, said: 'I saw one man cornered by at least a dozen Millwall fans before kick-off.'
Eyewitness Fergal O'Brien said: 'I saw a West Ham fan getting punched in the face by a burly bald man who had a coin between his fists.'
Another fan said: 'I was walking up and a group of hooligans came for us. The police wanted to help but they were clearly afraid to use force. I'm still shaking. I thought I was going to die.'
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