Ajax signs 19-year-old and rising star Boureima Hassane Bandé

Ajax signs 19-year-old and rising star Boureima Hassane Bandé

Amsterdam football club Ajax has signed 19-year-old Boureima Hassane Bandé on a five year contract after agreeing terms with Belgian side KV Mechelen. Ajax beat off competition from PSV, Manchester United, Porto, Anderlecht and Arsenal for the teenager. He has scored nine times in 15 matches for his current club, which he joined at the beginning of this season and three weeks ago he made his debut for Burkina Faso. Bandé will join Ajax next summer. 'I'm really happy with the move... but first I have a mission to complete with KV Mechelen,' he said. Ajax did not reveal financial details but the Telegraaf suggests the transfer fee could be as high as €9.5m.   More >

Ajax signs deal with top Chinese club

Oranje’s win over Bulgaria keeps World Cup hopes flickering Ajax has agreed to help leading Chinese football club Guangzhou R&F develop the next generation of players, in a deal worth €2 million a year to the Amsterdam club. Ajax will use its successful Ajax Coaching Academy (ACA) formula to build what Guangzhou hopes will be the best youth development facility in China. In return, Ajax hopes the extra cash will help it to close the gap that has opened up in recent seasons between Europe's top clubs and its minor leagues. 'All facets of our youth development, such as scouting, nurturing talent and all the supporting departments will be available,' the club said in an official statement. The deal is for an initial period of five years, with an option to extend it for a further five years. Four coaches will move from Amsterdam to China, headed by former women's coach Ed Engelkes, who has been appointed technical director. Ajax's technical director Edwin van der Sar said the agreement would be good for both clubs. 'Youth development has been extremely important for decades in everything we do at Ajax,' he said.      More >

Cup winner may lose Europa League place

Oranje’s win over Bulgaria keeps World Cup hopes flickering The winner of the KNVB cup football competition may no longer automatically qualify for the Europa League competition in 2019 because of the poor performance of Dutch clubs this season, website Nu.nl said on Friday. Earlier this month, the Netherlands lost automatic placement in the Champions League competition for the Dutch league winner in 2019. Although Vitesse managed to draw 1-1 against Lazio in the Europa League competition on Thursday evening, the Czech Republic is now just behind the Netherlands in the Uefa rankings. And with three clubs in European competition, the chances are high that the Czech Republic will move into 12th place, Nu.nl said. The ranking determines how many clubs get a ticket to European competition and at what stage of the tournament they join in. If the Czech Republic moves into 12th place, the Dutch cup winner will have to go through two qualifying rounds to make the group stage of the Europa League.  More >

Bruins wants KNVB to close gender pay gap

Oranje’s win over Bulgaria keeps World Cup hopes flickering Sports minister Bruno Bruins says he wants to talk to the Dutch football association KNVB about closing the pay gap in professional football. Bruins's party, the Christian Democrats (CDA), says it is unacceptable that female players earn around 10% of the wages of their male counterparts. Experts say the average wage in the Eredivisie is €22,000 a month compared to between €700 and €2,300 for the top women players. In an interview with The Guardian at the weekend, Dutch women's team star Vivianne Miedema called for the KNVB to pay equal fees to players who are called up for the men's and women's national teams. The Arsenal striker pointed out that the women's team won the European championships last summer whereas the men have failed to qualify for the last two international tournaments, yet are still paid more. Bruins said it was not up to the government to dictate how much sportsmen and women are paid, but it was legitimate to raise the issue. 'That is the light in which my talks with the football association should be viewed,' he said. The Leeuwinnen are not the only women's football team to complain about being underpaid. Last month the Danish team refused to play a World Cup qualifying match against Sweden during a dispute with their governing body over pay and conditions.  More >

Ministers have doubts about Zandvoort F1

Oranje’s win over Bulgaria keeps World Cup hopes flickering Last week's report about the possibility of bringing Formula 1 racing back to the Zandvoort race track contains 'too many uncertainties', sports minister Bruno Bruins told parliament in a briefing on Thursday. The report, commissioned by the town council and track organisers, said there are no insurmountable organisational, technical or logistical reasons why Formula 1 racing could not return to Zandvoort. The last Grand Prix was held at the track, in the heart of the coastal dunes, in 1985 and was won by Niki Lauda. The town council voted in 2015 to try to bring the race back to the Netherlands. Bruins described the report as an 'initial exploration' of the issues and said that he would not yet ask the Dutch sports council for its advice. The town council and track owners first plan to talk to the Formula 1 organisation and the international motor sports association FIA before taking any further steps. 'I will wait for that to happen,' Bruins said.  More >