Amsterdam police arrest 12 ahead of Ajax-Olympique Marseille match
The police arrested 12 Olympique Marseille football supporters in the city center of Amsterdam on Thursday afternoon prior to the team's Europa League match against Ajax. Six were arrested for carrying a stabbing or striking weapon. The other six were taken into custody for loitering or gathering in a group in a manner which violates the General Local Ordinance (APV), , a police spokesperson confirmed after the local broadcaster AT5 first reported on the situation.
The 12 supporters will not be able to attend their club's match on Thursday evening. The match between the Amsterdam club and Olympique Marseille will start at 9 p.m. at the Johan Cruijff Arena. This is the first match of the Europa League group stage.
Olympique Marseille's supporters are known for their fanaticism and have caused problems abroad several times. Last year, when the French club played against Feyenoord in Rotterdam, police arrested 48 Marseille supporters. They were arrested for igniting fireworks, causing damage, and harassing patrons at a McDonald's.
Earlier, the city had expanded the area considered to be a security risk because of the match. The municipality expanded the zone to include Rembrandtplein and Thorbeckeplein, according to a spokesperson for Mayor Femke Halsema.
Fans van Marseille preventief omsingeld op de Dam in Amsterdam voor de wedstrijd met Ajax. pic.twitter.com/mpNRExncpI— Robby Hiel (@PersburoUNN) September 21, 2023
The security risk zones already included the area surrounding the Johan Cruijff Arena, as well as Dam Square, Centraal Station, and the metro line connecting the center to the stadium. The police can search anyone in these areas preventatively and randomly for fireworks, weapons and other prohibited items. This will apply until 10 p.m.
Rembrandtplein and Thorbeckeplein are favored nightlife destinations for tourists in the capital, including many foreign football enthusiasts.
Marseille in Amsterdam!— Voetbal Ultras (@VoetbalUltras) September 21, 2023
📷 AT5 pic.twitter.com/8iNWK08Uh6
Reporting by ANP and NL Times