Dutch football season to wrap up with no crowds, No party for Ajax
The final games in the Eredivisie, the top Dutch football league, will be played through May 16 without spectators. Dutch football association KNVB previously urged the government to allow fans to attend the remaining rounds of league play by extending the pilot project which recently permitted football stadiums to welcome fans on a limited basis, NOS reported.
"This decision is very disappointing. If the successful pilot is not continued, then we can unfortunately only conclude that it was just an empty promise. This cannot be explained to the clubs and fans. Everything went well last weekend, as in August and September," the KNVB stated following the decision.
In the previous round of the competition, ticket-holders who could prove a negative coronavirus test result were allowed to attend games under strict conditions for the first time since September 2020. The KNVB argued that the pilot event was successful and made an appeal to the cabinet to go with the pilot project claiming it was essential for the players and supporters alike.
The KNVB said it hoped the Cabinet would revisit its decision. "In any case, we will continue to discuss with the Cabinet to jointly look for a more favorable solution."
Ajax is currently one point shy of taking away the league title. Amsterdam team will have the chance to secure the trophy at home this Sunday against Emmen. While the match will be played without fans, crowds will also be forbidden from celebrating any victory, Mayor Femke Halsema said during an Amsterdam city council committee meeting on Thursday.
"There can be no moments in the city when the ceremony is celebrated," Halsema said, according to a report on the meeting in Parool. "We will make preparations to discourage people from gathering with each other."
A televised tribute to the team's season could be broadcast instead.
"We have great respect for all workers in healthcare and we don’t want to cause extra pressure on them, but in our opinion, the previous test events, including last Sunday's match in the Johan Cruijff Arena, proved that it was possible [for fans to attend games again]," said Ajax supporters association chair Fabian Nagtzaam, the newspaper reported.