Dutch wary over Cup final hooliganism

The KNVB Beker final between Ajax and Feyenoord will be played over two legs because of fears over hooliganism.

The first leg will take place on April 25 in Amsterdam, with the return leg on May 6, and away supporters will not be allowed into either stadium.

"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," Ajax general manager Rik van den Boog told his club’s website.

The mayors of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, who instigated today’s meeting, in 2008 banned opposing fans from visiting their respective cities because of past violence between rival supporters.

The final had been due to take place at Feyenoord’s De Kuip stadium, the traditional home of the showpiece, with 10,000 supporters from each side present, but concerns were raised after fans acquired tickets for neutral areas and threats of violence appeared on websites. Van den Boog continued:

"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."

The kick-off for both matches will be 6pm.