Ajax Amsterdam women footballers are not allowed to celebrate the championship – because the men play too badly
The Ajax Amsterdam women’s football team has secured the championship. But they are denied a big reception with the fans – because the men’s team currently offers little cause for celebration.
The first division season of the Dutch women’s soccer team ended on the first weekend in May. The team from Ajax Amsterdam became champions, taking first place with a one-point lead over Twente Enschede. But the successful women are only allowed to celebrate among themselves. They are denied a public championship party – because the men’s team of the football club from the Dutch capital plays too badly.
The men’s mood is more of a hangover than a celebration this season: last year Ajax won the championship, this time coach John Heitinga’s team only finished third before the last match day – and could even lose it. Leader Feyenoord Rotterdam is a full 13 points away. The association has therefore rejected an honor for women from the city of Amsterdam.
Ajax Amsterdam refuse reception for women team
Mayor Femke Halsema originally wanted to host a reception for the champions on Monday. At the Leidseplein, a square in the center of the city, the footballers should celebrate with their fans. But those responsible for the club obviously didn’t think much of this idea. According to the Dutch newspaper “Het Parool”, Ajax managing director Edwin van der Sar referred to the depressed mood in the club given the unsatisfactory performance of the men’s team. In addition, the time between the end of the women’s season is too great, which “does not reflect well on women’s football,” the newspaper quoted.
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An Ajax spokesman confirmed to “Het Parool” that “the time and place” of the announced celebration was not supported. So the big party for only the third women’s championship title for the traditional club is cancelled. Ajax’s decision drew a lot of criticism. Jeanet van der Laan, a former footballer and now a member of the Dutch Parliament, said she could “explode” at the behavior of those responsible. International player Merel van Dongen, who played for Amsterdam until 2018, tweeted: “With friends like that you don’t need enemies anymore. Very disappointed with what should feel like ‘my’ club.”
Sources: “Het Parol” / “Het Parool” (2) / Merel van Dongen on Twitter