Thursday 04 June 2020

Police under fire for using water cannon on football fans

Riot police at a different incident. Photo: Graham Dockery

Amsterdam’s mayor, public prosecutor and police chief are to investigate why the city’s police force used riot squads and water cannons on supporters outside the Arena football stadium on Wednsday, ahead of the Champions League football match between Ajax and Juventus.

Supporters groups have questioned the police show of force, describing it as an ‘over-reaction’.

Trouble broke out close to the Arena stadium, when some fans lit torches, despite the ban on fireworks which police had earlier imposed. This led riot police to turn water cannons on supporters, including children and people in wheelchairs, local broadcaster AT5 said.

In addition, police used horses to drive a wedge between the supporters, leaving Ajax fans describing their action as ‘over the top’. Their number includes city alderman Reinier van Dantzig, who was at the ground and who said the situation was ‘extremely chaotic’.

In total, 185 people, mainly Juventus fans, were arrested in Amsterdam before and after the game.

Mayor Femke Halsema, currently in New York, will report back on the police action at a full meeting of the council next week, AT5 said.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.