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The Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, has threatened to cancel Ajax matches if the club are unable to stamp out hooliganism. The Dutch side saw their match against Feyenoord on Sunday called off after 55 minutes after fireworks were thrown onto the pitch and supporters vandalised the Johan Cruijff Arena.
Tempers have boiled over among Ajax fans in recent weeks after their slow start to the season that has left them 14th in the Eredivisie. However, falling 3-0 down to their rivals Feyenoord in under 40 minutes was the final straw for ‘ultras’.
Despite being warned that the match would be abandoned, fireworks and other pyrotechnics were thrown onto the pitch and supporters attempted to break into different areas of the stadium. Players and staff from both teams were consequently moved into the away dressing room until further notice, with it being ruled that it was not safe for them to leave.
Amsterdam’s mayor Halsema has now spoken out on the matter and explained what she hopes to see from Ajax over the coming weeks. Speaking on Monday, she explained: “If you see: there were 52 thousand people in the stadium, a small part of which misbehaved. The vast majority of all those Ajax fans have bought their tickets, are of course disappointed because things aren't going well, but just want to see the match. The fact that such a group is ruining it, that just has to be done with.”
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Asked about what measures must be implemented and whether she can intervene as mayor, Halsema continued: “Ajax will have to ensure that one-on-one searches are carried out in the coming matches. I think there should be proper searches, nets should be hung on the F-side. This is simply not possible anymore.
"In addition to one-on-one searches and hanging up nets, stadium bans should also be handed out, if necessary for life. If necessary, I can enforce that.
“What I also think should happen, although the club should do that in the first instance, is to keep the stadium empty. If there is so much misconduct among one group of hooligans... In the extreme case, you can even say that there will be no play at all on Wednesday, but you would rather never make that decision.
“In the very, very extreme case, you can say: there will be no play. But that is of course a decision you never want to make because it affects all the other supporters who just want to enjoy football there.” The match between Ajax and Feyenoord will conclude on Wednesday, with the match set to kick off with the away team remaining with a three-goal lead.