Rotterdam could lift ban on Ajax supporters for cup final

With reporting by Jamie de Geir.

Ajax fans will be accepted in the football stadium of Rotterdam-based arch rivals Feyenoord should both teams land in the finals for the KNVB Cup. Both teams are in the semi-finals for the Dutch trophy and would play each other at De Kuip stadium should they advance.

It would be the first time since 2009 that the teams would play with both sets of supporters in the crowd. In an interview with RTV Rijnmond, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said that “unless there is something dramatic in the build-up of the match, supporters of both teams will be welcome.

”Back in 2009 the mayors of Rotterdam and Amsterdam had mutually decided that away supporters would be forbidden during matches between the two clubs after decades of crowd trouble and violence. The supporters ban was later extended for an indefinite duration.

Ajax fans have been to De Kuip several times since that decision for the Dutch cup final, which is played in De Kuip every year. However, this would be the first time since 2010 that Feyenoord would be the Amsterdam club’s opponent in the finals. That year, football association KNVB had one of the two matches in the aggregate final played at the Amsterdam Arena to give Ajax a fair opportunity to represent their fans on the pitch.

For Aboutaleb’s plan to become a reality, Feyenoord must first beat NAC Breda in the semi-final while Ajax needs to get past FC Utrecht. Ajax is also slated to play Feyenoord in Rotterdam for a scheduled Eredivisie match on March 22.