Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema has warned she is prepared to cancel Ajax’s home games unless the club stamps out its hooligan problem.
The mayor was speaking the day after crowd trouble forced the abandonment of the match between Ajax and Feyenoord in Amsterdam after 55 minutes.
Referee Serdar Gözübüyük took the teams off the pitch three times after Ajax supporters hurled objects, including fireworks, onto the field during the match on Sunday.
Halsema told Nieuwsuur she was prepared to rewrite the licensing terms, including giving herself the power to cancel matches, if the club failed to take robust action.
“If Ajax and the KNVB are not prepared to take far-reaching measures, I will take action,” the mayor said.
She said Ajax needed to improve security and body searches to stop supporters taking fireworks and other banned items into the stadium.
Halsema also called for nets to be hung in the F-Side, the part of the stadium where the hardcore hooligans sit, and stadium bans to be rigidly enforced.
“The club itself is responsible for what happens in the stadium and has its own security personnel,” she said.
“The agreement is that no fireworks are allowed in the stadium, but clearly they are not searching people properly, because this is not the first time.”
Fans also held up banners and chanted slogans calling for the removal of Ajax’s director of football, Sven Mislintat, who was sacked later in the day. Mislintat is at the centre of an investigation into a potential conflict of interest over the purchase of a defender whose agent was a shareholder in a business that he founded.
The match will be concluded behind closed doors at 2pm on Wednesday after Ajax dropped a threat to take legal action against the football association KNVB’s decision.
Ajax wanted the remaining 34 minutes to be played in the first week of November, while Feyenoord argued that the match should be abandoned for good and awarded to them with a 3-0 scoreline.
Instead Feyenoord will take that advantage into the remainder of the game on Wednesday afternoon. Ajax’s home match against Volendam, which was due to be played in the evening, will have to be rearranged.
The football association said it had considered the arguments of both clubs, as well as consulting the city council, before making its decision.
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