After the attacks on two ARD radio reporters at Eintracht Frankfurt’s Europa League semifinals, hosts West Ham United have identified two attackers. The club announced on Friday after an internal review of the incidents during Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2-1 win a day earlier. The data of the people were also handed over to the police, who are now investigating. The club itself also wants to investigate the incidents closely. “If the perpetrators are found guilty, they will be banned from the London Stadium and will no longer be allowed to travel with the club,” a club spokesman said in a statement not tolerated.”
The Hessian Broadcasting Corporation and the Bundesliga soccer club had previously criticized the English club and sharply condemned the physical attack. “A football stadium is not a legal vacuum,” program director Gabriele Holzner said on Friday in a broadcaster statement. It is expected “from the organizing club that it also creates conditions for reporters from the visiting team so that they can do their job without fear of attacks,” added Holzner. Beatings and physical violence are not tolerable under any circumstances.
Uefa refrains from proceedings
Eintracht also reacted with outrage to the incident in the 2-1 win. “The attack on journalists from Hessischer Rundfunk cannot be tolerated and is unacceptable for all the emotionality of an important semi-final game with all the accompanying circumstances,” said Jan Martin Strasheim, head of media and communication at the club. “The incidents require careful investigation, which West Ham United will also comply with. This was assured to us by the club.”
For this reason, the European Football Union refrains from disciplinary proceedings against the seventh-placed team in the English Premier League. “The club reacted quickly and will now investigate the incident in order to identify and block the culprits,” said Uefa. The ARD agrees with this approach.
According to the radio reporters concerned, Tim Brockmeier and Philipp Hofmeister are doing well. According to their descriptions, they received “several punches in the back of the head, in the neck, in the back” during the semi-final first leg in London’s Olympic Stadium on Thursday evening. That’s probably not “the fine English way,” wrote Brockmeier on Twitter. He thanked the media staff of the Hessian Bundesliga club, but also the host Premier League club, “who really had to bring us to safety during the break”.
Attacks shortly after the interim compensation
West Ham United also condemned what happened. “We will work to find the perpetrators,” a club spokesman was quoted as saying by “Kicker” on Friday. “They will be given an indefinite ban and will not be allowed to enter the London Stadium or travel with the club. There is no place for such behavior.”
The attacks came shortly after West Ham equalized in the 21st minute. “We’re being attacked here,” reported Hofmeister during the live broadcast. In the seconds prior, tumult had been audible. “I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Brockmeier, whose headset had been torn from his head: “We’re shocked.” During the break, the two reporters from Hessischer Rundfunk changed places and continued to comment from there. “Mentally it was difficult afterwards,” said Hofmeister. (dpa)