The Eredivisie match between FC Groningen and Ajax on Sunday afternoon was called off after just nine minutes after fireworks and smoke bombs were thrown onto the pitch and Groningen’s supporters stormed the field.
The home fans appeared to be angry at their club’s board after their team suffered relegation from the Eredivisie. Groningen has had a disastrous 2023 season, winning just four of 31 matches so far. The team are not actually bottom of the table despite that record, but that does not make things any easier for Groningen’s angry fanbase.
OFFICIAL: Groningen vs. Ajax has been abandoned after the game was initially stopped due to objects being thrown and fans entering the pitch. pic.twitter.com/GLxouk5qDZ
— Squawka Live (@Squawka_Live) May 14, 2023
The players were first taken off in the sixth minute after first smoke bombs rained down, before one fan managed to get onto the pitch with a banner insulting the club management.
The game was then restarted after the pitch was cleared, but three minutes later more bombs were thrown down from the stands. That led to the referee calling off the match, in line with new rules enacted by the Dutch football federation (KNVB).
Game suspended again.. pic.twitter.com/1zV9yi3QKC
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) May 14, 2023
The KNVB tightened security measures after Ajax star Davy Klaassen suffered a head injury caused by a cigarette lighter thrown from the stands in a match between Feyenoord and Ajax in early April.
The Groningen team is owned by FC Groningen Beheer BV, a company that owns various sport clubs. Fans have been angry at the club’s relegation for the first time in 23 years, blaming the management for the setback.
According to the Dagblad van het Noorden, the game will be replayed on Tuesday, but there will be no fans. It will be played to an empty stadium.
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