Fewer Celtic fans expected in Amsterdam after 2013 Ajax riots

Celtic fans (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vintagekits)Celtic fans (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vintagekits)

The Amsterdam police expects much fewer Celtic fans in the city for the Europa League match against Ajax on Thursday after the riots in 2013. Only 1,300 of the 2,600 tickets made available to the Scots have been sold, a spokesperson for Ajax confirmed to Het Parool .

This means that the city is likely to be much quieter than in 2013, when eight thousand Celtics fans came to Amsterdam for the Champions league against Ajax. This ended in massive riots on Dam square, initiated by Ajax supporters steeling a flag from Celtic fans. The riot police and mounted officers had to be deployed to break up the fights. A total of 48 people were arrested and dozens of people were injured.

The Amsterdam police do not expect as many Scots coming to Amsterdam this year. The circumstances were much different in 2013 - it was a Champions League match played on a Scottish holiday and airline tickets were much cheaper. Currently most of the ferries from Great Britain are already fully booked.

The police will also collect the Celtic fans in a so-called "fan zone" on Dam square on Thursday. The "fan zone" has an exemption on the alcohol ban that applies to the rest of the city streets. The police hopes that this will make it easier to keep Celtic fans and Ajax fans apart.