May 24, 2024

Ajax‘s home Eredivisie match against archrivals Feyenoord was suspended 11 minutes into the second half after disgruntled fans threw flares onto the pitch with the visitors leading 3-0 on Sunday.

When flares were thrown onto the pitch for a second time, with many landing near the goal, the referee stopped the contest and directed the players down the tunnel.

Fans paid no heed as the club displayed the message “Lighting of fireworks is prohibited” on the big screen at the at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam.

“De Klassieker has been permanently suspended after repeated fireworks on the field,” Eredivisie said in a statement.

“More information on playing out this game will follow later.”

Ajax, which have had a poor start to the season with just one win, sit 13th in the 18-team league. They conceded all three goals on Sunday in the first half, leading to discontent from the fans.

The club finished third last season and failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 13 seasons. They had finished champions seven times and runners-up another five over the previous 12 seasons.

Sunday’s derby becomes the latest to be abandoned in Dutch football, which has struggled to deal with fan behaviour in recent years.

The Dutch football federation (KNVB) instituted a rule that suspends any match for 10 minutes after an object is thrown by fans onto the field. Once a match has been restarted for a second time, any further objects thrown will cause the match to be abandoned.

Caretaker Dutch Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgöz-Zegerius said in a message on X, formerly Twitter: “This no longer has anything to do with football and being a supporter. You play with the safety of the players, fellow supporters and yourself. Shame on you!”

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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