Violence in football: Feyenoord vs Ajax match interrupted as player’s head is split open

Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen’s head is SPLIT OPEN by missile thrown from crowd in grim scenes as he’s left covered in blood, with cup victory over rivals Feyenoord marred by yet more trouble in the stands

Trouble marred Ajax’s victory over Feyenoord in the semi-finals of the KNVB Cup with the game temporarily suspended following Davy Klaassen having his head split open by a missile thrown from the crowd.

In what is Dutch football’s biggest game, De Klassieker descended into a disgraceful farce on Wednesday night as Ajax’s players were showered in objects thrown by the home crowd.

The game had threatened to boil over on the pitch, with characteristically firm challenges flying in all over the pitch, though it was a missile from the crowd that acted as the matchstick.

With the players engaging in a melee near the touchline, Klaassen had his back turned to the home crowd on that side and was struck with what appeared to be a lighter.

Davy Klaassen had his head split open after a missile was thrown from the Feyenoord crowd
The midfielder was taken off alongside the rest of the players for the second time in the game
The incident marred the cup semi-final between the two great rivals - with Ajax prevailing in the end


Immediately realising he had been struck, and with blood pouring from his head, the midfielder chased after referee Allard Lindhout demanding something be done.

In the footage, he appeared to be demanding the players were taken off as the home crowd whistled his protests.

The referee duly obliged, with the game suspended while officials, both on and off the field of play, seemingly tried in vain to settle things.

The players were forced off with Ajax leading 2-1, Klaassen himself having notched what proved to be the winning goal on the night. The game was halted for 15 minutes.

Club officials from both sides mutually agreed for the game to continue after talks, with the Feyenoord assistant manager John de Wolf imploring supporters to behave themselves.

‘Fans, at that side, use your brain God damnit! Make sure nothing is being thrown on the pitch again,’ he said.

The game had initially been stopped after just a minute following smoke billowing across pitch, from flares and other pyrotechnics. Once that had cleared, the game got back underway.

Klaassen himself eventually had to go off, telling Dutch media after the game that he felt his ‘head pounding’.

‘When I returned on the pitch I felt my head pounding, I couldn’t keep my focus. But I wanted to try,’ he said.

Social media was awash with dismay at the scenes, with former Ajax defender Frank de Boer referring to the situation as ‘ridiculous’.

‘When we see this battle between two teams in other competitions, we say that we miss this here in the Netherlands,’ he said. ‘And now we’re going to say it’s the fault of the players that this game got out of hand. They probably asked for it…ridiculous of course.’

The Dutch FA released a statement condemning the incident, adding that they would be searching for the perpetrators.

‘Tonight during the semi-final of the cup tournament, we saw that a player was injured on the head because someone in the audience threw an object at the field,’ it said

‘This despite the precautions, such as nets in various places in the stadium. Recently a player was beaten by a supporter and now another low point has been reached.

‘Thousands of people go to the stadium to watch the players play football. Then it is insane that they are apparently not safe on the field.

Davy Klaassen scored what proved to be the winner early on in the second half
The game had threatened to boil over on the pitch - though it was an incident from the crowd that forced them off

‘Of course clubs and organizations take precautions, but it starts with the intentions of the perpetrators. If you don’t come to the stadium for football, but to riot, then stay away: football, the clubs, the real supporters and the players are better off without you.

‘Naturally, tonight’s events are being investigated, with the common goal of punishing the perpetrators.’

De Kuip, Feyenoord’s home ground, has come to be known as a feverish and hostile ground for visiting sides to play in. A Europa League tie between the Dutch side and Roma was halted in 2015 after objects were thrown onto the pitch.

In November this year, Feyenoord supporters were banned from the club’s next Europa League tie away from home after disturbances at two games during the group phase. Missiles had been thrown, while fireworks and damage were also reported.

Ajax held on for victory on the night, triumphing 2-1 thanks to goals from Klaassen and captain Dusan Tadic. Santiago Gimenez had equalised for the hosts on the stroke of half-time, while Ajax’s Kenneth Taylor was sent off deep into injury time at the end of the game.

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