Ajax fans turn Cup party into nightmare

9th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — Thousands of Ajax fans celebrated the team's win of the Gatorade Cup in festive style at the Stadsschouwburg theatre in Amsterdam’s Leidseplein square on Monday evening.

9 May 2006

AMSTERDAM — Thousands of Ajax fans celebrated the team's win of the Gatorade Cup in festive style at the Stadsschouwburg theatre in Amsterdam’s Leidseplein square on Monday evening.

But media reports on Tuesday morning focused on rioting by a minority after the official part of the celebrations ended.

Specialised riot police (mobiele eenheid) used batons and a water canon to clear Leidseplein, an important tourist square in the city, after some fans lit small fires on the ground and turned on each other and the police.

Two people were stabbed, and one of them was brought to hospital in an ambulance. Shop and restaurant windows were also smashed and cars were damaged by the rioters, who were among a group that refused to leave the square when asked. They wanted to stay and vent their anger at Ajax management for firing coach Danny Blind after only one season.

Appeals by the club to keep the celebrations peaceful and orderly were simply ignored by a hardcore of 'outraged' fans.

Blind's tenure at Ajax started badly, but recently he guided the Amsterdam team into the Champions League and crowned his success with the Gatorade Cup, the Dutch equivalent of the FA Cup in England.

Immediately after the 2-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven to win the Cup on Sunday, the celebrations were soured when commercial television station SBS 6 cited boardroom sources as confirming Blind is to be replaced by Barcelona assistant coach Henk ten Cate.

Police arrested at least 25 people during the trouble on Monday and more arrests are expected once video images of the rioting are examined.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news + Ajax

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