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Hammers told to improve ban appeal process

The Independent Football Ombudsman (IFO) Ombudsman has told West Ham to improve their ban appeal process to give supporters a fair and independent experience.

The office of the IFO has been established by the three English football authorities (The Football Association [FA], The Premier League and The English Football League [EFL]) with the agreement of the Government. The IFO has been designated as the final stage for the adjudication of complaints which have not been resolved within football’s complaints procedure.

A report published by the IFO claims that cooperation from West Ham United had been less than expeditious, with long delays in responding to the investigation enquiries.

A West Ham supporter complained that he had been unjustly banned by the Club after he had inadvertently been caught up in a disturbance at Leeds United following a last-minute winning goal. He further complained that his subsequent appeal against the ban had not been given due consideration.

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West Ham told the IFO that they are in the process of reviewing their offences and sanctions policy and have committed to discussing this with the West Ham United Supporters’ Trust and the FSA ahead of publication on their channels before the start of the 2023/24 season. The review will include the appeals process, which is being conducted by an independent party this season.

In conclusion, the report says The IFO was not satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the complainant received a fair hearing of his appeal following the Club’s decision to ban him. The IFO has accordingly recommended that the Club arrange for the appeal to be re-heard independently.

The full report can be found at https://www.theifo.co.uk/adjudications/ifo_2204.pdf

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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter