Fans clash with police after Ajax's derby with Feyenoord is abandoned

Angry supporters stage protest following Amsterdam club's dismal start to the season

Ajax supporters throw fireworks onto the pitch during the Dutch Eredivisie soccer match between Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord Rotterdam in Amsterdam. EPA
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Ajax's home Eredivisie game against defending champions Feyenoord was suspended on Sunday as fans threw flares onto the pitch, and mounted police used tear gas to disperse rioting fans outside the stadium.

A group of angry Ajax fans tried to force their way into the Amsterdam Arena after the game was halted, leading the police to disperse them with tear gas, Dutch police wrote on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

"After the stopped game supporters broke into the main (stadium) entrance. Order has since been restored," the police said.

"It is a jet black day, this makes it even worse," Ajax coach Maurice Steijn told broadcaster NOS.

Ajax were 3-0 down in the second half when the game was suspended.

Ajax, who have had a poor start to the season with just one win, sit 13th in the 18-team league and they conceded all three goals in the first half.

When flares were thrown on to the pitch for a second time, with many landing near the goal, the referee stopped the match 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 Johan Cruyff Arena.

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

"More information on playing out this game will follow later."

Ajax 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.

Updated: September 24, 2023, 7:06 PM