During Sunday’s derby between Sparta Prague and Slavia, there was no shortage of hard tackles and fights on the pitch, captains Jan Bořil from Slavia and guest Ladislav Krejčí were sent off after a fight. In the end, the derby ended in a draw 1:1, but it was not only hot on the field, but also among the fans.
The match was preceded by a march of the Spartans through Prague, fans of both teams then used cannons and flares during the match. Emotions were especially evoked by the moment a few minutes before the end of the match, when cannons flew from the Sparta sector among the home fans. According to Novinek.cz, the behavior of the fans should be dealt with by the police due to suspicion of a crime. Fans of Slavia and Sparta settled their accounts even after the end of the match in front of the stadium, as shown in the video of the Sport.cz website.
In the context of the Sparta-Slavia derby, it is interesting that Sunday’s match between Ajax Amsterdam and rivals Feyenoord Rotterdam was abandoned and not finished after similar things happened on the Amsterdam pitch as in Eden, as reported by the British BBC.
In the first half of the match, referee Serdar Gözübüyük had to stop play twice as disgruntled Ajax fans at the home stadium used pyrotechnics and threw flares and other objects such as plastic cups onto the pitch.
Ajax was already losing by three goals in the first half of the match, while Igor Paixao’s third goal caused the first reaction of strong dissatisfaction from the home fans.
Although a sign on the big screen in the stadium reminded Ajax fans that “the lighting of pyrotechnics is prohibited”, the supporters ignored the message. In the 56th minute, the problem with the flares was repeated and the referee ended the match definitively at a moment when visiting Feyenoord was still leading 3-0 at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
The fans of Ajax, the thirty-six-time Dutch champion, have reason to be dissatisfied. This season, Ajax has won only one of the four league games played and is in 13th place – two points above the relegation positions. The team is experiencing the worst start to the season since 1965. However, Ajax stopped doing well at the end of last season – then it finished in third place and for the first time in 13 seasons it did not qualify for the Champions League, the title was won by Feyenoord.
However, Ajax immediately condemned the actions of their fans. “Such behavior does not belong at Ajax,” the Ajax club said in a statement immediately after the match.
The management and Supervisory Board of Ajax distance themselves from the misconduct that led to the abandonment of the match against Feyenoord on Sunday and the disturbances afterwards. This is not the behavior that belongs to Ajax.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) September 24, 2023
Ajax’s management and supervisory board distanced themselves from the fan action that led to the suspension of the match with Feyenoord and the subsequent riots in a statement published on their website. “The disappointment of a bad start to the season is understandable, but it can never be the cause of riots. We apologize to anyone who felt unsafe or was affected in any other way by the disturbance,” the club said.
“It is very difficult for the whole organization. It is one of the most important matches in Dutch football and its cancellation extremely sad. It’s a bad start to the season. We understand the disappointment. But we don’t approve of expressing him in this way,” Ajax director of general affairs Jan van Halst said at a press conference.
Although Feyenoord outclassed Ajax, the victory is still bittersweet according to the team manager. “It is particularly unpleasant that the match ended like this. They took away our chance for something very beautiful. We understand the decision that the referee made, but we do not feel the feeling of victory and we will certainly not get on the bus satisfied,” responded Feyenoord manager Arne Slot.
Trouble continued even after the encounter, known as De Klassieker, was abandoned. The players and members of the Feyenoord implementation team had to stay in the dressing room for some time until it was possible to leave safely.
In the meantime, the fans demolished the stadium from the inside and its surroundings, right in front of the stadium named after the legendary Dutch coach, and Johan Cruyff’s players then clashed with mounted police.
The rioters vandalized the main entrance to the stadium and destroyed the windows. Amsterdam police eventually had to use tear gas to stop the rioting fans outside the stadium. Two police officers were injured, the police informed.
Later, local police said that some of the home fans had even tried to enter the pitch and that they had detained 15 suspects during and immediately after the match, according to the website Parool.
Ajax also reacted to the whole matter internally and said goodbye to director of football affairs Sven Mislintat with immediate effect. According to De Telegraaf website, the club initially announced that the decision was made by mutual agreement, but later reported that Mislintat had been fired.
Ajax expects that the rest of the match will be played out, Feyenoord rejects such an approach. It is also almost impossible to finish the rest of the game quickly. Ajax already plays against FC Volendam on Wednesday and Feyenoord has a training match scheduled for Tuesday. The management of the Dutch Eredivisie should decide in the coming days.