Ajax may bar gay and elderly from rematch

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Amsterdam football club Ajax says it sees no reason to change its request to the Dutch football association KNVB to allow just women and children to attend the cup match against Alkmaar side AZ on 19 January.

The announcement came in response to calls to also allow gay, elderly and handicapped people to witness the fixture. Ajax says it first wants to wait for the KNVB to decide on its original request. The KNVB has reacted positively to the proposal and has asked Ajax to submit a more detailed plan.

The club submitted its request after an Ajax fan managed to get onto the Amsterdam ArenA pitch and attacked visiting team AZ goalie Esteban during the cup game on 21 December. Esteban went on to kick his assailant and was shown red. AZ players left the pitch in protest and the game was suspended.

Gay rights groups argue that homosexuals often encounter hostility at football matches. The football association could make a statement, Gay.nl editor-in-chief Kristiaan Schimmel said, by allowing gay people to watch the game along with women and children.

The KNVB subsequently rescinded Esteban’s red card and ordered the match to be replayed in the ArenA on 19 January without spectators. The Ajax supporter who attacked Esteban has been sentenced to six months in prison, with two of them suspended. The 19-year-old man will also have to go in therapy for people with drinking problems. He was ordered to register with police whenever Ajax, AZ or the Dutch national side are playing.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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