‘Done really everything on the front end’

‘Done really everything on the front end’

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Supporters throw fireworks on field at FC Groningen-Ajax: game suspended

Gudde had continuous consultations with the security triangle in the run-up to the match. “We even switched with the police in Belgium and Germany. The group of fans is also made larger by individuals who have stadium bans in other countries.”

A worrisome development. Despite all efforts, Gudde said disturbances could not be prevented. “Of course we picked up signals beforehand. At the front we really did everything. If anyone has the golden solution to this, I would love to hear it.”

At the already relegated crisis club Groningen the fuses went out pretty quickly for some supporters during the game with Ajax.

After almost six minutes, several smoke bombs were thrown onto the pitch when Dusan Tadic wanted to take a corner on behalf of Ajax. At the same time, a person ran onto the field carrying a banner reproaching the board. He was quickly caught in the collar.

Squeezed buttocks

Referee Jeroen Manschot had no choice but to temporarily stop the match at that point. After a cooling off period, both teams returned to the field and football could continue, but in the ninth minute, smoke bombs were thrown again.

“It is very sad when you are a director of a soccer club and playing out a game, completing the 90 minutes, feels like a victory,” Gudde said. “You sit in the stands with your buttocks squeezed together, with a stomach ache. It has nothing to do with soccer at all.”

Referee Manschot concurred with Gudde’s words. “That you let your club down like that is incomprehensible,” he reflected.

“There was a security meeting this week. A little longer and tightened up. Then they discuss what the signals are. Online there were, but usually nine out of ten don’t come out. Still, I always keep in mind that something could happen.”

So it did. “It’s SO sad,” Manschot bemoaned. “Most of all, I wonder why this is being done. This beautiful sport is being sullied in this way.”

Kayleigh Williams