Abandoned Dutch Cup match to be replayed in full
Wednesday 28 December 2011
The cup match between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar will be replayed in full next month behind closed doors, the Dutch football association announced today.
The December 21 match at the Amsterdam Arena was abandoned in the 36th minute with AZ trailing 1-0 after goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado was sent off for kicking the 19-year-old fan who had launched a karate-style kick at him from behind.
The Dutch FA said in a statement it "would be unreasonable" to resume the match in the 37th minute because AZ would have to play with 10 men due to the Costa Rica goalkeeper's red card, even though it was later rescinded. The match will be played without fans from either side, "because the association does not want to take any risks."
Police arrested 25 fans amid rioting outside the stadium after the match was called off last week.
The rematch will be played January 19. The winner plays amateur club GVVV in the quarter-finals.
The Dutch FA also fined Ajax €10,000 for failing to prevent the fan — who was supposed to be serving a 3-year ban from attending matches at the Arena — from invading the pitch. Ajax announced shortly after the match it would never again sell the man a club card or season ticket and later tweeted that it had slapped him with a 30-year stadium ban.
Football authorities also gave Ajax a suspended sentence of playing one home match without fans. That sanction will only be applied if the club commits another offense in the next two years.
Ajax had until January 2 to appeal, but Financial Director Jeroen Slop said the club would accept what he called tough sanctions "under protest" because of the limited legal avenues to overturn the punishment.
The fan whose pitch invasion sparked the disciplinary action has been in police custody since he was arrested after stewards led him off the ground. Dutch media reported that his family went into hiding after receiving telephone threats.
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