David Moyes says there’s ‘no chance’ West Ham will punish Declan Rice after referee video


Avid Moyes says there is ‘zero chance’ of West Ham disciplining themselves after the midfielder was filmed criticizing Jesus Gil Manzano following their Europa League loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Hammers captain Rice berated the Spanish official during a rude rant in the tunnel after Thursday night’s semi-final elimination.

The Premier League club intends to consult the referee’s report before commenting on the incident, while UEFA could still sanction the English midfielder.

But manager Moyes – who doesn’t believe Rice’s complaints are genuine accusations and doesn’t think anything untoward happened – quickly dismissed suggestions of internal punishment.

“Not a chance – not on my watch anyway,” said the Scotsman, whose side suffered a 3-1 aggregate defeat.

“If UEFA punishes him, it’s up to them, but not my responsibility.

“Declan is the captain, Declan is totally behind the team and totally committed – like the manager, like the captain.

“We’re all fighting for the same thing, which is to be winners here, and Declan is one of them.”

Rice’s remarks to Manzano were captured by US television company Fox Sports, with footage circulating on social media.

“Ref, ref, it’s so poor, all night it’s so bad,” the 23-year-old said.

“How can you be so bad, honestly? You probably got f****** paid. F****** bribery.”

West Ham had Aaron Cresswell sent off with just 19 minutes on the clock at Deutsche Bank Park and were beaten 1-0 on the night after Rafael Borre extended the hosts Germany’s 2-1 first leg lead just seven minutes later .

Full-back Cresswell, who shot down Jens Petter Hauge as he tried to drive through on goal, was initially shown a yellow card but was upgraded to a red after a review by the video assistant referee .

Moyes was also sent off during the game – for throwing a ball at a ball boy – and felt aggrieved by the level of officiating.

Still, he downplayed the severity of the post-match flashpoint, insisting he demonstrated the passion within his team.

“You could say it’s a headache; I’m saying it’s someone showing how much they care,” he said.

“The whole team was devastated, we didn’t succeed. We found the circumstances really difficult.

“We felt like we were treated pretty badly overall and that’s what’s happening.

“If you know football, everyone is emotional, so unless you’re in the heat of the moment sometimes people don’t understand how it feels.

“We had a group of players who were really connected, trying to win the game and felt it was very difficult in a lot of different circumstances.”

West Ham’s defeat denied them a first European final since 1976.

A club spokesperson said: “The club are aware of the video being shared on social media but will not comment further until the referee’s report of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt will not have been considered.”

Frankfurt will face Rangers for the trophy on May 18 in Sevilla.

Meanwhile, the seventh-placed Hammers must quickly put their disappointment aside as they focus on European qualification for next season, starting with Sunday’s top-flight trip to relegated Norwich.

Additional PA Reports

standard Sport

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