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West Ham United face off against Italian side Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League tonight (Wednesday 7th July) and despite not having tickets, thousands of West Ham fans in Prague are filling local bars and singing their famous chants in celebration of reaching this European final.
What Is Actually Happening In The City?
Local Police have called in hundreds of officers to patrol as they braced for an estimated 20,000 West Ham supporters, many of those are ticketless. UEFA only allocated 5,780 tickets to both clubs and with West Ham having an average attendance of just over 62,000 in the 2022/23 Premier League season this means that over 50,000 people have missed out on the golden ticket to watch their team play in a major European final for the first time in almost half a century.
One West Ham fan, Jamie Segal, who has made the journey to Prague told us. “I was meant to go Stansted to Dortmund then Dortmund to Dresden and then Dresden to Prague but my train got cancelled so then I had to go from Dortmund to Berlin and then Berlin to Prague but there was fire on the tracks so I had to get a coach from Berlin to Prague and I am here now. On the way back I am going via Majorca”.
UEFA's Fan Zones for West Ham Fans in Prague
UEFA and the city of Prague have set up a fan zone for people who want to watch this cup final but have no ticket to gain access to the ground. On UEFA’s website they have released an event guide and a map showing the location of the fan zones for both West Ham United fans and fans of Italian side Fiorentina. The West Ham map shows everything from the meeting points for West Ham fans in Prague, the city’s airport, the stadium, and many other things.
West Ham fans out in Prague with this flag.
— Football Away Days (@FBAwayDays) June 6, 2023
Direct from UEFA’s website they have said fans without tickets can watch the game screened live at the fan meeting point. Supporters of West Ham will be gathering at the Fan Meeting Point in Letna Park which has been described as a large space overlooking the Vltava River in Prague. There will be live entertainment and food and drink kiosks. All supporters of the club, ticket or no ticket are welcome to go to the fan meeting point to soak up the atmosphere ahead of what is sure to be a great game of football between two great sides.
8pm UK Time is when the game gets underway and there will be plenty of West Ham supporters left in England wearing their shirts, singing their chants and watching from the pubs. For those who have travelled without tickets they will be soaking up the weather, according to local forecast it is due to stop raining as the game gets underway, perfect timing to see their team lift the trophy? Who knows.
Tonight, in Prague, we rise. pic.twitter.com/yiUCPIBK3N
— West Ham United (@WestHam) June 7, 2023
One thing is clear – West Ham players are ready to give their best.