The problems facing football club Ajax came to a head on Sunday when their Eredivisie match against arch rivals Feyenoord was abandoned because of crowd trouble when the Amsterdammers were 0-3 down.
The key tie, known as the klassieker, was abandoned in the 55th minute after supporters threw fireworks on the pitch for the second time. Chanting fans called on the club board to sack technical director Sven Mislintat. He is being blamed for Ajax’ poor start to the season and a string of wrong buys.
Later riot police were drafted in to drive back Ajax fans who attempted to break through the main gates to the stadium.
Fans still in the stadium were told not to leave because of the trouble, as police used horses and tear gas in an effort to control the troublemakers.
Police said on Sunday evening three people had been arrested but more arrests are likely once surveillance camera footage has been studied.
Ajax is currently languishing in 14th place in the Eredivisie with just five points from four games. The club also failed to qualify for the Champions League this season and drew against Olympique Marseille in their first Europa League clash on Thursday evening.
Ajax issued a statement on Sunday evening, saying the club apologised to everyone who felt unsafe because of the problems. Coach Maurice Steijn also described the events as a black day in the club’s history.
The Dutch football association said it would be discussing the situation at a top level meeting on Monday.
“The whole club is going to the dogs,” one fan told the Telegraaf. “We desperately need someone to come and clean up the mess. Louis van Gaal is the only person I think would be capable of doing so.”
“This is nothing to do with supporters,” Wim Groeneweg, chairman of the ACP police union said. “These are criminals.”
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