West Ham contact police over racist messages sent to Hawa Cissoko | West Ham United Women

West Ham have contacted police and social media companies regarding “a number of racist and abusive messages” sent to their defender Hawa Cissoko after last Saturday’s 2-1 WSL win at Aston Villa.

Cissoko was sent off after an altercation with Villa’s Sarah Mayling and tweeted later that day: “It’s lucky that not much affects me! Because some nonsense and (very aggressive) insults are flying around!”

West Ham said: “While we in no way condone Hawa’s actions on the pitch, for which she has apologised, everyone at the club is disgusted by the hateful content of the online messages subsequently sent to her. They have been passed directly to the police and reported to the relevant social media companies. There is no place for this in society and we condemn it unreservedly.”

Cissoko apologised on Twitter on Thursday for the behaviour that led to her red card, saying there was “no excuse”, and wrote: “In contrast to those finding pleasure in sending me abusive and hateful messages, a massive thank you to those who have sent me words of support.” She also tweeted: “What do my origins, my skin colour and my physique have to do with this story?”

Villa’s manager, Carla Ward, described online abuse aimed at Cissoko and Mayling as “horrific” and “absolutely unacceptable”. She said: “They’re both human beings, good human beings at that. They’ve been involved in an altercation that’s happened in a highly charged and emotional game and I’m sure they’re both very sorry for the incident that happened. But neither of them, nobody, deserves to have to go through what they went through in terms of that online abuse.”

Cissoko could face an extra ban after she was charged by the Football Association over alleged violent conduct after the offence she was sent off for and alleged improper conduct in the technical area.

The FA also charged West Ham’s manager, Paul Konchesky, and Aston Villa’s operations assistant, Jack Hopkins, with improper conduct and both clubs with failing to ensure their players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion. Villa said they would contest the charges. West Ham have until Monday to respond.

Hawa Cissoko sees red as brawl mars West Ham’s WSL victory over Aston Villa | Women’s Super League

West Ham stunned an in-form Aston Villa as goals from Dagný Brynjarsdóttir and Honoka Hayashi secured Paul Konchesky’s side a battling three points in a tetchy encounter that boiled over in the closing stages.

Hawa Cissoko was sent off for lashing out at Sarah Mayling and as a melee broke out on the touchline Konchesky was also given his marching orders for clashing with England international Rachel Daly.

A buzz surrounded the Bescot Stadium as Villa fans entered full of anticipation after seeing their side enjoy an unbeaten start to the season. Their eye-catching performances have earned them high praise with both Carla Ward and Daly awarded the most recent manager and player of the month awards.

West Ham, however, arrived determined to disrupt this run of form. Konchesky’s side are a tough outfit to break down partnered with a dangerous attacking threat. They had been dealt a serious injury blow over the international break when they lost the influential Jess Ziu to an ACL injury while their defensive stalwart, Lucy Parker, was also missing.

It was a swashbuckling start from the visitors as they pressed high and found themselves ahead within two minutes. An early Kirsty Smith corner was met by tBrynjarsdóttir at the near post to nod home. Their second came shortly after – a sublime counterattack finished off by Japan international Hayashi from inside the area. It was clinical – two shots, two goals that sent shockwaves through the home side.

With a comfortable lead, the visitors were quite happy to absorb Villa’s pressure. The hosts dominated possession but could not find a cutting edge. Daly came close to a fourth of the season while Anna Patten agonisingly hit the post on the stroke of half-time

West Ham manager Paul Konchesky clashes with Rachel Daly as tempers boiled over in the closing stages.
West Ham manager Paul Konchesky (back to the camera) clashes with Rachel Daly as tempers boiled over in the closing stages. Photograph: Harriet Lander/Getty Images

West Ham continued to resist wave after wave of attacking pressure in the secnd half as the hosts grew increasingly frustrated .

Mackenzie Arnold tipped Kirsty Hanson’s effort over the bar before Aston Villa were presented with a way back into the game when Daly was pushed to the ground inside the box. Alisha Lehmann stepped up but saw her effort saved by Arnold.

Villa finally pulled one back in the 77th minute when Kenza Dali curled a sweetly struck effort into the top corner. It was the platform Villa needed for an energetic finish. As seven minutes were announced, tensions boiled over. Cissoko hit out at Mayling after a challenge and was sent directly to the changing rooms. A melee then erupted on the bench that saw Konchesky also handed his marching orders.

As the referee restored order, Villa continued to pummel the West Ham box but the visitors withstood the pressure.