Ajax fans to sue Utrecht over match ban

The Ajax supporters club plans to sue the municipality of Utrecht over the ban Mayor Jan van Zanen placed on Ajax fans attending the match against FC Utrecht in the city on December 13th. They hope that a court will overturn the ban.

According to Thomas van Vugt, the lawyer representing the club, the permit for the match states that the mayor decided against allowing Ajax fans to attend because riots occurred outside the stadium in the past. "But that is no reason to keep Ajax fans out of the stadium", the lawyer said to newspaper AD. "Nothing happened in the stadium in recent years." He also pointed out that Ajax fans would use the bus-combi, which means that they will be picked up in Amsterdam, dropped off at the away end and have no contact with any other parts of Rotterdam in between.

This whole affair revolves around the punishment KNVB imposed on FC Utrecht for antisemitic chants during the previous Ajax vs FC Utrecht match. The punishment states that the Bunnikside - where hardcore Utrecht fans sit - must be empty. FC Utrecht decided to spread season ticket holders from the Bunnikside out throughout the rest of the stadium. Van Zanen decided to ban Ajax fans because he cannot guarantee their safety.

Ajax fans, of course, are upset that they are being banned while Bunnikside Utrecht supporters still get to watch the game. Daniel Dekker, president of the Ajax supporters club, hopes that the lawsuit will end in Ajax fans being allowed to attend the match. He also worries that a dangerous precedent will be set if supporters just allow this to happen. "Therefore a court judgement would be good. The people who were punished sit in the stadium, while we are not welcome. That's not good."

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