West Ham’s triumph in the Europa Conference League led to clashes erupting between fans and riot police in Prague on Wednesday night.
The confrontation occurred after supporters ignited flares while celebrating, prompting police officers to intervene and attempt to confiscate a lit flare in the city’s Old Town area.
As tensions escalated, riot police moved in to disperse a group of fans who had ignited a second flare. In response, some fans retaliated by throwing bottles and projectiles at the officers.
Earlier in the day, Czech police reported detaining at least 16 Italian fans for assaulting West Ham supporters outside a bar. Videos circulating on social media captured scenes of chairs being thrown and fireworks being used during the altercation.
While the celebrations initially began with a jovial atmosphere, with fans embracing, kissing, and dancing on tables in bars, the situation later turned confrontational, resulting in clashes between fans and law enforcement.
Chants of “2-1 to the cockney boys” and “Irons” also broke out as the Londoners welcomed the club’s first trophy in more than 40 years.
The final took place at the Fortuna Arena, which has a capacity of around 19,300, with West Ham receiving an official ticket allocation of 5,000, although many more travelled from the UK to be in the city during the game.
Supporters watched in bars around the city, including a group who went wild at McCarthy’s Pub in the Old Town area from the moment Jarrod Bowen gave the team the lead in the final minute of the second half.
West Ham fan Aaron, 18, said it felt “unreal” to win.
“(I’ve) never felt like it in my life,” he said.
He said his plan for the rest of the night was to “stumble back to the hotel”.
“How we get there I don’t care,” he added.
It came hours after West Ham fans were attacked by Italian supporters in the city centre, prompting police to detain 16 people.
Czech police said three people were injured during the incident, with one police officer being attacked.
One witness said fans of the Italian side were armed with “chains and belt buckles”.
There was also controversy during the match as Cristiano Biraghi of Fiorentina was seen bleeding from the back of the head after he appeared to have been hit by an object thrown from the West Ham stand.
Shortly before the end of the match, the English club put out a statement condemning the behaviour of a “small number of individuals”, adding: “These actions have no place in football, and do not in any way represent the values of our football club and the overwhelming majority of our supporters, who have behaved impeccably in Prague this week and throughout our last two seasons in European competition.”
The club said it would work with police to review the incident and take action against offenders, including implementing lifetime bans.