No public celebration of Ajax Women's national title; Ajax said no, municipality says
There will be no public tribute to the Ajax Women’s team in Amsterdam, the municipality reported. The celebration was planned on Leidseplein this coming Monday. But Ajax’s management “has asked the municipality to refrain,” Amsterdam said.
Ajax confirmed that. “Today, we asked the mayor to reconsider the ceremony. The celebration on May 17 in the official residence was much appreciated, and there were already more festivities surrounding the championship. We do not support the time and location of the ceremony offered,” the club said.
The decision has to do with the following things, Ajax said. “The championship was a while ago (May 7), and the momentum is, therefore, over. And it is suspected that the turnout will be disappointing, which is not good for the image of women’s football.”
Ajax also said: “The lack of joyful mood at and around Ajax in general (in connection with Ajax 1’s performance this season) also plays a role in this. We think it is unwise to honor the Ajax Women in the city next week and not a good signal to the Ajax Women or our fans.”
The Amsterdam club’s women’s team became national champions earlier this month after a 6-1 win against PEC Zwolle.
Mayor Femke Halsema and alderman Sofyan Mbarki of Sport would have liked to organize a tribute. “Unfortunately, without the club's cooperation, the mayor and alderman see no possibility of organizing a successful ceremony this season,” the municipality said.
It is the Ajax Women’s third national title, after previous championships in 2017 and 2018. This would have been the first public tribute to the Women’s team.
Ajax Women’s captain Sherida Spitse liked the idea of a public tribute when Mbarki announced it during the celebration in the mayor’s home. “Look, if the men get a tribute when they become champions, then we should also get a tribute,” she said.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times