Feyenoord-Ajax stalled after Klaassen head injury, police arrest man in stands
The KNVB Cup semi-final at De Kuip between Feyenoord and Ajax was halted for a long time after Ajacied Davy Klaassen suffered a head injury from an object thrown from the crowd.
A man was arrested by police who threw the object from the stands, television footage showed. The match was eventually won by Ajax.
In the 62nd minute, a riot broke out in a corner of the pitch when Ajax was leading 1-2. Dusan Tadic and Orkun Kökçü got into an argument. In all the commotion, Klaassen was hit full on the head, apparently by a lighter. He subsequently bled profusely.
Thereupon Ajax players walked off the field, followed by those of Feyenoord. The match was stopped for more than half an hour.
For a long time it was not clear if the game would be played out, but after a strong speech by Feyenoord’s assistant coach John de Wolf towards the box where the object came from (“you there, use your goddamn head”) the game continued anyway.
Klaassen had to be substituted shortly after the game resumed. He was suffering from dizziness.
Fireworks action out of control
Feyenoord-Ajax had also been briefly halted at the start of the match due to smoke rising after a fireworks display by supporters got out of hand.
Justice and Security Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz has expressed her disgust at the events at the Kuip. “What a low point,” she tweeted. “What a disgrace. If you attack or pelt a player you are not a supporter, but a huge lout who must be punished.”
Police union ACP also does not have a good word to say about the behavior of some spectators at the Kuip. “Downright outrageous behavior of some ‘soccer supporters’ around #klassieker,” responded chairman Wim Groeneweg. “It costs society a lot of money and police capacity to manage this. Therefore the discussion about (away) crowds at matches and other measures.”
The league itself is also reacting on social media. Which believes that “decisive action” by the KNVB cannot fail. “Violence around soccer matches is inadmissible and further fuels the discussion about (away) crowds around matches,” the ACP said.
The KNVB also disapproved of the incident. The soccer association posted a statement on its own website shortly after the match. “Recently a player was beaten by a supporter and now another low point has been reached,” it read.
“Thousands of people go to the stadium to watch the players play soccer. Then it is insane that they are apparently not safe on the field. Of course, tonight’s events will be investigated, with the common goal of punishing the perpetrators.”
Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam, called the incident “the bankruptcy of soccer.” He did not want to strike the match. “This was a very disappointing evening. I am sorry that this happened to Klaassen. To stop a match, public order must be at stake and that was not the case.”
Watch the reactions of Jan Bluyssen, manager of professional soccer league affairs of the KNVB, and that of Ahmed Aboutaleb below: