Amsterdam implementing stop-and-frisk at Ajax-Rangers Champions League match today
The prospect of violence around the upcoming football match between Ajax and Rangers FC in the Johan Cruijff ArenA on Wednesday prompted city officials to allow police to conduct random stop-and-frisk searches outside the stadium, while restricting alcohol sales in the Red Light District. The situation could be volatile, said Mayor Femke Halsema, which is why the area surrounding the stadium has been designated a security risk area from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on match day. This gives police the authority to search people preventatively and at random before and after the Amsterdam team's first group stage Champions League match.
The leaders of the Amsterdam municipality, the district police, and the district office of the Public Prosecution Service have taken into account the possibility that supporters will attempt to cause disturbances, and possibly set off heavy illegal fireworks. This is partly assumed because of the events surrounding the last Ajax match in the Champions League against Benfica in March, when acts of excessive violence were carried out against the police and ArenA stewards, including heavy fireworks thrown at them.
Furthermore, the municipality reported that anyone caught possessing face-covering clothing to prevent authorities from recognizing can lead to a six-month stadium ban. Anyone who actually wears a face covering risks an 18-month stadium ban.
Liquor stores and shops were also prohibited from selling alcohol in Amsterdam's Red Light District at various points on Tuesday and Wednesday because of the upcoming match. Retailers who ignore the alcohol sales ban can be issued a fine of 1,200 euros. The measure was in effect on Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., and will be enforced on Wednesday from noon to midnight.
Drinking alcohol on the street is already forbidden in the Red Light District. In 2019, this measure was also put in place for the Ajax - Chelsea football match. The municipality expects many supporters from the Scottish club to be present in the city, and wants to prevent nuisance. Cafes are allowed to serve alcohol.
The Amsterdam club will play against Rangers FC in the Champions League group stage match on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m.
Reporting by ANP