Groningen-Ajax suspended after serious incident
The game had been playing for six minutes when several local fans took to the field with flares and smoke canisters. Their intention was to stop the game...
Today’s Week 32 Eredivisie game between Groningen and Ajax has been suspended after the home fans caused a major incident. Events were triggered by supporters’ anger at the team losing it’s top tier status - Groningen were mathematically relegated to the Eerste Divisie last week after drawing 1-1 with Go Ahead Eagles. It brought to an end 23 consecutive seasons in the top flight.
That was the trigger for a pitch invasion by a number of local fans who leapt from the stands with flares and smoke canisters just six minutes after the game had kicked off. Several fans, supposedly from Groningen, somehow got past the security checks on entry to the Euroborg in possession of banned, pyrotechnic material including flares, firecrackers, smoke canisters and banners which they used in protest of the team’s descent to the next division. The players rushed back to the locker room, while security forces tried to control a situation which was already out of hand.
The fans’ intention was to disrupt the match and they succeeded. Match official Jeroen Manschot tried to restart the match on 15 minutes but trouble flared again, forcing both teams to retire and the total suspension after the game.
Groningen, in 17th on 18 points and Cambuur (bottom of the table on 16) will both drop down a level while the team in 16th will play for their survival with a side from the second tier.