Ajax fines Steven Berghuis for hitting a fan after season-ending loss
Amsterdam football club Ajax fined their player, Steven Berghuis, after he struck a fan following the 3-1 defeat at FC Twente, the last match of the Eredivisie season. The club announced the punishment on Sunday evening after a conversation with the footballer, who has since expressed regret.
Berghuis, who has played 45 times for the Dutch men’s national team, lost his self-control just before he boarded the players’ bus in Enschede, as could be seen on a video circulating on the internet. FC Twente is among the teams Berghuis played for in the past.
"I regret my action, I should not have done this," said the Ajax player. "After every away game we get a lot of curses thrown at us at the bus, when we are making time to hand out autographs to fans who ask for them. I'm used to it by now, but people think they can shout anything. My reaction doesn't solve anything, I understand that too. It's not good, I am in a position to set an example as an Ajax player."
According to those involved, FC Twente fans at the bus did indeed shout irritating phrases at Berghuis from behind a crush barrier after he had signed autographs. The supporters in question also harassed Ajax striker Brian Brobbey just before that.
"Steven reacted in the wrong way,” Ajax said in a reaction. "He quickly made this known to manager John Heitinga and immediately apologized. Upon arrival at the ArenA, he had a conversation with Heitinga, Edwin van der Sar and Sven Mislintat. They also wanted to hear his side of the story. The conclusion is that his reaction was wrong and that Ajax disapproves of it."
Berghuis came on in the final phase of the match against FC Twente. He was out of action for the past month due to an injury. Ajax finished in third in the Eredivisie and will start the new European football season in the Europa League play-offs.
Reporting by ANP