West Ham manager David Moyes says an abandonment of his side’s Premier League game against Burnley was not considered by the referee despite strong scenes of crowd unrest.
The match, which saw Burnley win 3-0 at London Stadium on Saturday, was marred by a series of pitch invasions, West Ham captain Mark Noble confronting one of the individuals and knocking him to the ground.
Chris Wood’s double from the bench was overshadowed by a toxic atmosphere as co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan were escorted out of the directors’ box for their safety with supporters chanting about the club’s leadership.
Referee Lee Mason stopped the match momentarily following one of the pitch invasions, with a West Ham fan having attempted to plant the corner flag in the centre circle.
But, despite the official speaking with Moyes and Burnley manager Sean Dyche on the sidelines, the Scot confirmed an abandonment was never an option.
“No, not at any time,” Moyes said at a post-match news conference.
“Actually the big thing was to say get on with it – keep playing.
“I can honestly say I never saw any police. I didn’t even look around to see if there was anybody there.
“I was on the touchline looking on to the pitch, trying to get us back in the game.
“The supporters will have their reasons for it. They have ways of venting that [frustration].
“But the rule is that you cannot come on to the pitch – you’re not allowed.”
The Football Association has “strongly condemned” the crowd disturbances, with West Ham launching a “full and thorough investigation” into the incidents.
“An emergency meeting has been called with all London Stadium stakeholders,” the club said. “There will be no further comment at this time.”
A third successive Premier League defeat saw West Ham slip closer to the relegation zone and Moyes accepts his side are going through a difficult spell.
“I don’t know all the politics at West Ham, I’ve not been here long enough,” Moyes said. “But for the time I’ve been here, I’ve certainly enjoyed it.
“But I didn’t enjoy today and I didn’t enjoy last week [a 4-1 defeat against Swansea City]. For the majority of the time I’ve been here, I think the team have done a really good job. Last couple of games – not so good.”
Moyes’ decision to recall England international Joe Hart backfired, with the goalkeeper spilling a Johann Gudmundsson shot to allow substitute Wood to tuck home.
“Joe made a mistake – we can’t dress that up in any different way,” added Moyes.