West Ham’s Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna will take place behind closed doors after the Austrian government confirmed a lockdown will begin on Monday.
The latest rules in Austria sees a full national lockdown imposed from Monday after a previous lockdown only impacted those unvaccinated for covid-19.
The country has one of the lowest vaccination levels in Western Europe combined with soaring case numbers and as a result there will be no fans present at the match in the Austrian capital.
West Ham were set to play in front of a partisan crowd with the Hammers being sanctioned by UEFA for crowd trouble in Genk and banned from selling tickets to their supporters for the match.
Despite the change in circumstances, UEFA has confirmed that the ban will not be suspended and will be transferred to the knockout stages.
West Ham supporters were set to miss out on the trip to Vienna after UEFA imposed sanctions on the club for “crowd disturbances” and “throwing of objects” in Belgium. The club was fined a total of £29,260 on top of the fan ban.
After receiving a written explanation from UEFA West Ham accpeted the punishment but did so reluctantly and stressed their disappointment at the ruling. The club were unimpressed with UEFA’s handling of the situation, with the decision on away fans coming a little over a week before the match and set to leave thousands of supporters out of pocket after arranging travel and accommodation way in advance.
The season is well underway and the Hammers’ European tour has truly begun
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The sanctions from UEFA were set to punish a large group of dedicated supporters for the behaviour of a few who went to Genk ticketless and forced entry into the stadium.
West Ham confirmed that supporters who have already purchased tickets for the game will be reimbursed by the club in due course.