Ajax celebration banned after Feyenoord attack

16th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 April 2004, AMSTERDAM — Ajax fans will not be allowed to celebrate in the centre of Amsterdam if their team wins the Dutch league on Sunday, Amsterdam City Council said on Friday. The decision comes after Ajax supporters attacked Feyenoord Rotterdam players following a reserve match on Thursday night.

16 April 2004

AMSTERDAM — Ajax fans will not be allowed to celebrate in the centre of Amsterdam if their team wins the Dutch league on Sunday, Amsterdam City Council said on Friday. The decision comes after Ajax supporters attacked Feyenoord Rotterdam players following a reserve match on Thursday night.

Amsterdam deputy mayor Mark van der Horst announced on Friday Ajax fans would be banned from holding a planned victory celebration in the Leidseplein tourist district in the capital on Sunday.

The festivities had been arranged in antipication of Amsterdam's team winning the Dutch league. Ajax lead the Dutch first division by 10 points from PSV Eindhoven. They could lift their 29th championship if they win at home to RBC Roosendaal on Sunday and PSV lose, news agency Reuters said.

Meanwhile, the Dutch Football Association KNVB has confirmed it will not impose any sanctions on Ajax's first team for the behaviour of some of the club's fans during the reserve match.

In an attempt to identify and arrest rioting football hooligans, police are searching for visual images of Thursday's violence.

Police failed to make any arrests at the Amsterdam sporting complex De Toekomst (The Future), but hope to track down the Ajax hooligans via pictures or video images and the police officers who were at the scene, news agency ANP reported.

At the end of the match — which Ajax won 3-1 in front of a crowd of 3,500 fans — dozens of Ajax fans stormed the pitch and attacked Feyenoord player Jorge Acuna.

The Chilean was taken by ambulance to hospital, suffering from head, neck and rib injuries and was admitted overnight after being diagnosed with concussion.

Several other Feyenoord players, including Robin van Persie, Gerard de Nooijer and Danko Lazovic, were also injured.

Coach Mario Been was threatened with a knife and admitted: "I was really forced to run for my life". He blamed the violence on failures by the Ajax administration.

Ajax trainers Marco van Basten and John van 't Schip tried to intervene when the Feyenoord players were attacked, but the situation descended into chaos. There was panic reported in the changing rooms and players were seen crying in distress.

There were no Feyenoord supporters at the match and security was provided by 25 club stewards and 10 police officers. Police were forced to escort Feyenoord players to the change rooms and to their bus back home to the safety of home city Rotterdam.

Prior to kick-off, Amsterdam police did not consider the match a security risk, despite the fact that violent incidents have occurred at previous duels.

Ajax has officially responded by saying it is deeply ashamed of the actions of certain section of its supporter base and questioned whether these sorts of matches can still be played under such circumstances.

Feyenoord has also raised similar concerns and said it will lodge official reports of assault with police.

The Cup Final will soon be played between Young Ajax and Young Feyenoord in Kerkrade and Feyenoord has confirmed it will be in contact with football association KNVB in the lead-up to the match.

The former chairman of the Feyenoord supporters association, Willem Veenman, fears future aggressive reactions against Ajax supporters from Feyenoord fans. "I know for certain that something is going to happen and also how sad that is," he said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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