A dark day for Dutch football: Ajax vs Feyenoord suspended due to flares and supporters vandalise the Johan Cruyff Arena

Sunday the 24th September 2023 – A day that will live long in the memory of Dutch football fans. What looked set to be an action-packed afternoon of Eredivisie matches very quickly turned into a dark day for Dutch football. The world famous De Klassieker kicked off at lunchtime. The fiercest rivalry in Dutch football, between Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord Rotterdam. Years of history and plenty of passion packed into 90 minutes of football. Unfortunately, the events that occurred during this clash, were a reminder of the sombre side of the sport that we all love.

Ajax went into the game having experienced their worst start to a league season since 1965. Sitting 12th in the table after winning once, drawing once and losing twice, there was hope amongst the fan base that this would be the game where everything would change. Head coach Maurice Steijn was in need of a positive result.  As for Feyenoord, they’ve started the season with three wins and two draws. Arne Slot’s side are searching for their second successive league title.

After 37 minutes, Ajax were 3-0 down in front of a huge home crowd. Maurice Steijn looked stunned as his players left the field at half time. Ten minutes into the second 45, the match was suspended after Ajax supporters launched flares onto the pitch. As fans left the Johan Cruyff Arena the scenes got even worse. Fans were caught on record breaking into the stadium’s main entrance. Another video clip showed riot police outside the arena attempting to disperse the crowd. Awful scenes in Amsterdam.

Now, the KNVB is faced with a difficult decision. If the match is played out, when could it happen? The Dutch football association has told Voetbal International that they will look for a suitable solution together with the parties involved. Finding a new date will not be easy, as Ajax and Feyenoord are both currently active in their European competitions. The KNVB could choose not to continue the game and award the three points to Feyenoord, keeping the 3-0 score line.

GBeNeFN Hugo Hargreaves

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