It has been decided to play the KNVB Cup final over two matches, out of public best interest. On Sunday, April 25, Ajax will play at home against Feyenoord, without Feyenoord supporters. On Thursday, May 6, the teams will play in Rotterdam, without Ajax fans. Both matches begin at 6pm.
On Thursday morning, discussions took place in Rotterdam between the mayors of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the police, Ajax and Feyenoord general management and the KNVB. The meeting came about from a request made by the mayors for Amsterdam and Rotterdam to meet again to discuss the final, to take place in Rotterdam on April 25. The invitation was made in part due to the intervention of the Minister of Internal Affairs.
During the meeting, all arguments were presented once again, and each party expressed their concern over the major social unrest which has resulted from the significant security measures which are associated with the cup final.
Based on these discussions, the professional football board from the KNVB has decided that the KNVB Cup final will be played in two matches. The first will take place on April 25 in the Amsterdam ArenA, and the second on May 6 in Stadion Feyenoord. Both matches start at 6pm. In both matches, no supporters from the visitor’s side will be allowed to attend. The match organisation will be handled by the KNVB. The clubs have expressed their respect for the KNVB’s decision.
Rik van den Boog, AFC Ajax’s General Manager, believes that this is a sensible decision. “This morning, together with the mayors, the KNVB and Feyenoord, we put all of the concerns on the table, and everyone felt strongly that the social best interest and public safety came first. The supporter in me would have loved to see the final played in one game, after which the winner can hold the Cup. We were prepared for that one match. But, if that’s not possible, this is the sensible choice. Now, two large groups of supporters can attend; the party can be twice as big. In light of the ongoing public discussion, this is the best we could do.”
Why does Ajax get to play at home first, on April 25? Van den Boog: “In the semi-final draw, it was decided that the winner of Twente – Feyenoord would play at home, and that the winner of Go Ahead – Ajax would be the away team.”