Ajax’s home match against rivals Feyenoord was abandoned after their fans repeatedly threw fireworks onto the pitch.
Feyenoord were 3-0 up in the 56th minute of Sunday’s De Klassieker at the Amsterdam Arena when referee Sedar Gozubuyuk suspended the match.
The Eredivisie later confirmed the fixture was abandoned a few minutes later on social media, adding that information about when it is to be finished will be released later.
Ajax’s struggles from last season have seeped into the new campaign. The Amsterdam side have won only won of their four Eredivisie matches this season and sit 13th in the league, albeit having played two games fewer than most of the teams above them.
Maurice Steijn was appointed on a three-year contract in the summer, having guided relative minnows Sparta Rotterdam to a sixth-placed finish in 2022-23, their best for 27 years.
Derby Days, Amsterdam: De Klassieker
Alfred Schreuder, who replaced Erik ten Hag after his departure to Manchester United, lasted only until January before being dismissed. Schreuder was sacked after a seven-game winless run left Ajax fifth in the table, with former defender John Heitinga appointed to replace him on an interim basis.
Heitinga left the club after he was only able to lead Ajax to a third-place finish, meaning they missed out on qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in 13 years, and has since been appointed to David Moyes’ backroom staff at West Ham United.
❌ De Klassieker definitief gestaakt na herhaaldelijk vuurwerk op het veld.
— Eredivisie (@eredivisie) September 24, 2023
So far, Steijn’s only league win at Ajax came in the first game of the season — a 4-1 victory at home against newly-promoted Heracles. That remains Ajax’s only home win of the campaign, with Steijn’s side losing 1-0 at home against Ludogorets in their Europa League play-off — which followed a 4-1 away victory — and drawing 3-3 with Marseille in their first match of the group stage in that competition on Thursday.
De Klassieker matches have historically been problematic and sometimes violent. As a result, away fans have not attended matches since 2009.
In May, the Dutch Cup semi-final between the two sides at Feyenoord’s De Kuip stadium was suspended for almost half an hour after Ajax’s Davy Klaassen was struck in the head by an object thrown from the crowd, causing him to bleed. Klaassen had earlier given Ajax the lead and had to be substituted due to the injury shortly after the game restarted.
Ajax’s next game comes at home against Volendamn in the Eredivisie on Wednesday.
(Photo: OLAF KRAAK/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)