Ajax have signed 23-year-old FIFA-player Koen Weijland. This makes Ajax the first Dutch football club to officially sign an E-Sports athlete. Five-time Dutch champion and ranked number one in the world in 2010, 2011 and 2015, Koen Weijland will represent Ajax in several national and international FIFIA-tournaments this season. Koen has been given shirt number 39.
Earlier it was announced that Ajax, together with EA Sports, will open the FIFA 17 XPERIENCE on the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam.
Lots of young Ajax-fans are dedicated FIFA-players and with these initiatives, Ajax hope to create a stronger bond with this group. Director Edwin van der Sar: “Koen is multiple FIFA-champion, inspires youth, has a personality that matches this club and is a big Ajax-fan. Reasons enough to be happy about our collaboration. Besides, we have been looking for new ways to appeal to young fans better. This initiative can be seen in that light. We will not only support Koen in big tournaments, but also organize activities for our fans together with him. Finally, we find it important to contribute to more ‘digital fun’, as well as to inspire youth to pick up a ball and play football. These worlds can exist together very well and even complement each other.”
‘A dream come true’
“Today is a dream come true for me. I have been Ajacied all my life and I am very proud to defend the beautiful red and white in FIFA-tournaments. The story of Ajax speaks to me. Like me, they want to organize a variety of activities for youth and link those to real-life football. As a YouTube-personality and FIFA E-Sports athlete, I am convinced I will be able to inspire young people, just like the Ajax-players.” says Koen Weijland.
On Thursday afternoon, Koen and a number of Ajax-players attended the opening of the FIFA XPERIENCE, where they played the new FIFA 17 with two young fans.