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West Ham fan suffers serious injury in Cologne after road sweeper incident

A West Ham fan has suffered serious injuries in an incident involving a road sweeper.

With The Hammers making the trip to Germany ahead of their Europa League clash with Bundesliga table-toppers Bayer Leverkusen, their fanbase has once again travelled in strong numbers.

Thousands of supporters have made the journey and many of them have been forced to congregate in the areas that surround the stadium, most notably the city of Cologne.

West Ham fan struck by road sweeper in Cologne

A West Ham fan has been struck by a road sweeper in Cologne
The incident occurred late on Wednesday night, with the supporter quickly being rushed to hospital. Photo by Icon Sport

The incident

It has been widely reported that one West Ham fan has sustained potentially life-threatening injuries after being hit by an oncoming road-sweeping vehicle late on Wednesday night.

The supporter, believed to be a 68-year-old male, was then quickly transported to a nearby hospital, where he received treatment for his injuries and has since been stabilised.

A Cologne police officer said: “According to witnesses, the 68-year-old crossed Trankgasse at the pedestrian traffic light at around 9:20 p.m., presumably on red. The cleaning vehicle coming from the direction of Comedy Street hit him.

“Immediately after the collision, the driver aged 29 suddenly steered his sweeper into a traffic light pole. He also suffered minor injuries. The police deployed a traffic accident investigation team to secure evidence and cordoned off a large area of the accident site.”

British fans' terrible time abroad

Although this incident was an unfortunate accident, it continues the trend of British supporters enduring less than enjoyable experiences while travelling Europe to watch their teams away from home.

Most notably, during Brighton's away tie against Roma in the Europa League, a gang of masked people recently attacked a group of the club's supporters, resulting in one fan requiring treatment for a “non-life-threatening” stab wound.

While much has been done to reduce the amount of violence within the sport in recent times, the issue has resurfaced this season, with the above examples being plucked from a long line of potential case studies.

Football should be a safe space for everyone, whether you are a home or indeed an away fan, and these incidents highlight that we are still a long way from achieving that status,

An important tie for David Moyes

Apart from the obvious harm to life that of course comes with such violence, another downside is that it steers attention away from on-the-pitch narratives.

One such narrative is that despite the Hammers sitting in seventh place and just one point adrift of Manchester United in the Premier League, fans of the East London club are becoming frustrated with David Moyes' style of play, and a positive result in this match would more than likely see the Scotsman win some of those supporters back.

It is undeniably a herculean task that awaits Moyes' side given that Leverkusen are yet to lose a game this season, but this is cup football, and as we all know, anything can happen in these competitions.

Harry Dowsett

Freelance football writer with experience writing for multiple digital platforms, such as GIVEMESPORT. Recently graduated from Portsmouth University with a media studies degree - completing a dissertation on the evolution of sports journalism in the process. He has a love for Arsenal Football Club and a passion for football as a whole.

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