Ajax cup match to be replayed behind closed doors

ÀP, Wednesday 28 Dec 2011

After a fan ran on to the pitch and tried to assault AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado

Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban
AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban from Costa Rica reacts as he is attacked on the pitch by an Ajax Amsterdam supporter during the soccer match at the Amsterdam Arena December 21, 2011. (Photo: REuters)

A Dutch Cup tie between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, abandoned last Wednesday after a fan ran on to the pitch and tried to assault AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado, will be replayed behind closed doors on January 19, the Dutch football federation (KNVB) said on Wednesday.

The December 22 incident led to the Costa Rican 'keeper being red-carded for twice kicking out at the fan, who was then escorted off the pitch by police.

AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek led his players off the pitch following the incident complaining about the lack of security at Ajax's Amsterdam Arena.

The last 16 tie, which Ajax had been winning 1-0, was subsequently abandoned just before half-time.

"The Federation does not want to take any risk regarding the playing of this match while guaranteeing that the competition continues," a KNVB statement read in explaining the decision to stage a replay of the match without any fans.

The KNVB, which has since overturned the red card for Alvarado, also fined Ajax 10,000 euros and said the club face having to play an additional match behind closed doors - though that part of the sanction is suspended.

Any appeal by Ajax to their punishment must be made by January 2.

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