Dutch Cup match suspended after fans attack goalkeeper

December 22nd, 2011 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Amsterdam, Dec 22 (IANS) The Dutch Cup match between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar was abandoned after an Ajax fan attacked AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado in the back and the keeper was sent off for kicking the supporter.

The incident took place here Wednesday after 37 minutes, when Ajax led 1-0. Esteban saw the attacker at the last minute and at first tried to defend himself and after that started kicking him.

Referee Bas Nijhuis gave marching orders to Esteban.

“I am a referee and I have to obey the rules. The rules say in this case I had to give Esteban a red card,” the referee was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek did not hesitate and called on his team to leave the pitch. According to the coach the players no longer felt safe.

The Cup match was suspended after AZ decided not to continue and it triggered riots round the Amsterdam Arena. Supporters of the Amsterdam club clashed with the riot police and at least 10 people were arrested.

A 19-year-old fan was arrested on suspicion of assault. He was suspected to be under influence of alcohol.

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