David Moyes insists Declan Rice’s foul-mouthed rant during which he accused Europa League referee Jesus Gil Manzano of corruption shows how much West Ham’s players care.
Hammers captain Rice was filmed berating the Spanish official in the tunnel after his side suffered semi-final heartbreak at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday evening.
The Premier League club were denied a first European final in 46 years following a 1-0 loss in Germany, which resulted in a 3-1 aggregate defeat.
Rice’s post-match remarks to Manzano were were captured by America TV company Fox Sports, with footage circulating on social media.
"Ref, ref, it’s so poor, all night, it’s so bad," said the England midfielder.
"How can you be that bad, honestly? You’ve probably been f****** paid. F****** corruption."
🤬"¿CÓMO PUDISTE HACERLO TAN MAL? HONESTAMENTE, PUDIERON HABERTE PAGADO. ¡MALDITA CORRUPCIÓN!"— FOX Sports MX (@FOXSportsMX) May 5, 2022
Declan Rice cargó fuerte contra el arbitraje de Jesús Gil Manzano, después de la eliminación del West Ham ante Frankfurt en semifinal...
📹 @lolahernan#EuropaLeaguexFOX pic.twitter.com/hC7PbTj4o2
West Ham do not intend to comment on the incident until receiving the referee’s report.
Manager Moyes – who was sent-off during the match for kicking a ball at a ball boy – felt it demonstrated the passion within his squad and was also aggrieved at the standard of officiating.
"It just shows you how much all the players cared," the Scotsman said on Friday afternoon.
"We all cared very much last night. We felt as if we had been treated quite badly overall and that is what happens.
"If you know about football, everybody is emotional so unless you’re in the heat of it sometimes people don’t understand how it feels.
"Last night, we had a group of players who were really connected, trying to win the game and felt it was very difficult under lots of different circumstances."
UEFA could yet sanction the England midfielder but manager Moyes – who does not believe Rice’s complaints to be genuine accusations and feels nothing untoward occurred – swiftly dismissed suggestions of internal punishment.
"Not a chance – not on my watch anyway," said the Scotsman. "If UEFA punish him that’s down to them but not on my watch.
"Declan’s the captain, Declan’s fully behind the team and totally committed – like the manager, like the captain.
"We are all fighting for the same thing, which is to be winners here, and Declan is part of that."
West Ham had Aaron Cresswell sent off after just 19 minutes at Deutsche Bank Park and conceded the only goal of the evening to Rafael Borre just seven minutes later.
Defender Cresswell, who pulled down Jens Petter Hauge as he attempted to go through on goal, was initially shown a yellow card but it was upgraded to a red after a video assistant referee review.
Regarding Rice’s behaviour, a West Ham spokesperson said: "The club is aware of the video circulating on social media but will not be commenting further until the referee’s report from the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt has been considered."