Over 140 football fans arrested around Ajax-Juventus match

Amsterdam police on Dam Square ahead of the Champions League quarter finals match between Ajax and Juventus, 10 April 2019
Amsterdam police on Dam Square ahead of the Champions League quarter finals match between Ajax and Juventus, 10 April 2019Photo: NL Times

The Amsterdam police carried out charges before the Champions League quarter final match between Ajax and Juventus at the Johan Cruijff Arena on Wednesday evening. Over 30 football supporters were arrested. Earlier in the day the police arrested over a hundred armed Italian supporters. The total number of arrests came to more than 140, NU.nl reports.

The police charges were prompted by fans who wanted to participate in a so-called entrada, a party with which Ajax fans sometimes usher in important matches. The entrada is always accompanied by a lot of signing and fireworks. The police used a water canon to extinguish fireworks that supporters had lit. There were also incidents of public violence, such as items being thrown at people, and windows being broken at the south side of the Arena. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the police arrested two large groups of Italian supporters at the stadium and at Weesperplein station in the city center. The supporters were armed with extendable batons, flagpoles, pepper spray, a hammer and a knife. According to NU.nl 107 Italians were arrested. According to Italian media, the police arrested around 120 people. The detainees were taken to a detention center by bus.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw. Christiano Ronaldo scored for the Italians just before the break, and David Neres scored for the Amsterdam team at the start of the second half. The draw allows Ajax to travel to Turin with reasonable perspective for the return on Tuesday. If Ajax wins that match, the club will join the last four of the Champions League for the first time since 1997. The winner of Tuesday's match will play in the semi-final against the winner of the matches between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.

The draw on Wednesday is also good news for Dutch football, according to NU.nl. It means that the Eredivisie champion of 2020 can directly enter the Champions League again. The Netherlands can no longer lose the important 11th place on the UEFA coefficient list. 

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