Ajax stops inauguration of women’s team on Leidseplein: ‘Momentum is over’
The public honoring of the Ajax women’s team on the Leidseplein in Amsterdam will not take place. The Ajax women were supposed to be honored next Monday, but according to the Amsterdam municipality, the Ajax management has asked for this to be waived.
The Amsterdam women won the national title earlier this month.
Last week, the national champions were received by Mayor Femke Halsema and Sports Alderman Sofyan Mbarki, where it was announced that the women would receive a public tribute.
“Without cooperation from the club, the mayor and alderman unfortunately see no possibility of organizing a successful inauguration before the end of this season,” reads a statement from the municipality.
‘Not good for imaging’
Ajax said in a response it “does not support the timing and location of the offered inauguration.” “The championship has been a while ago (May 7) and so the momentum has passed. And the suspicion is that attendance is disappointing, which is not good for the image of women’s soccer,” the club said.
“The lack of joy mood at and around Ajax in general (in connection with the performance of the Ajax 1 men this season) also plays a role in this,” Ajax stated. “To still honor the Ajax women next week in the city we find unwise and also not a good signal to the Ajax women nor to our fans.”
For the Ajax women, it was the third national title after 2017 and 2018. The women’s team never received a public tribute before.
Watch a recap of the Ajax women’s championship match:
Supreme Ajax women capture the national title for the first time since 2018
The AFCA Supporters Club, one of Ajax’s two recognized supporters’ associations, announced earlier in the day that it was against a tribute to the women because of the otherwise disappointing season and because it would be “a political statement.”
‘Homage only for Ajax 1’
In a statement, the association wrote, among other things, that a public inauguration in Amsterdam should be reserved only for Ajax 1, the men’s first team.
The Ajax men experienced a season full of sporting malaise and no prizes. At best, they can finish second in the premier league next Sunday.
According to Het Parool, sources in the Amsterdam city hall say that the supporters’ club’s statement influenced Ajax’s decision to cancel the inauguration. But this is denied by Ajax.