Amsterdam Arena renamed Johan Cruijff Arena from next football season

Johan Cruijff's name in a living mosaic in the Amsterdam ArenA, 3 Apr 2016 (Photo: AFC Ajax/Facebook)Photo: AFC Ajax/Facebook

The Amsterdam Arena will officially be renamed the Johan Cruijff Arena from the next football season, was announced on Thursday after long negotiations between stadium management, the Amsterdam municipality and Ajax. The Dutch football legend's family is pleased that a decision has finally been made, though it could have happened faster, Carole Thate, who acts as spokesperson for the family, said to

"But let us now focus on the positive story that the name change is a fact", Thate said to the newspaper. "The family is happy with the news that it is now so far that the stadium can officially be called the Johan Cruijff Arena from the new football season."

Johan Cruijff passed away on March 24th, 2016. Almost immediately after his death the call was raised to change the name of the Arena to honor the football star. Over the past months Cruijff's family repeatedly raised concerns about the name change taking so long. Last week son Jordi Cruijff called it "disappointing", according to the newspaper. "Hopefully it's a matter of time before the City of Amsterdam, the Arena and Ajax will present the Cruijff Arena", he said.

Incidentally, the Arena will be named using the traditional Dutch spelling of Cruijff, with an 'ij' instead of the international spelling Cruyff with a 'y'. "In an international context it may be called Cruyff Arena, but for the official name it was decided to stay close to the Dutch Johan", Thate said.