AZ Alkmaar - Ajax Dutch Cup tie to be replayed on January 19 behind closed doors
Original game on December 22 abandoned when AZ goalkeeper attacked
Esteban Alvarado was red-carded but this was subsequently revoked
Liverpool's Luis Suarez banned for one-game for gesture to Fulham fans
The Dutch Cup tie abandoned last week after a fan ran on to the pitch to attack AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado will be replayed on January 19 behind closed doors, the Netherlands football federation (KNVB) said Wednesday.
The match at Ajax’s Amsterdam Arena on December 22 was being led 1-0 by the home side when the incident occurred just before halftime.
Costa Rican ‘keeper Alvarado reacted by twice kicking out at the fan, who was then escorted from the pitch by police.
Alvarado and his teammates were enraged when he was subsequently red-carded by the referee and there were ugly scenes on the pitch.
AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek then led his players off, complaining about the lack of security at Ajax’s ground, and the match was abandoned.
The KNVB has since overturned the red card for Alvarado and fined Ajax 10,000 euros ($12,934).
“The Federation does not want to take any risk regarding the playing of this match while guaranteeing that the competition continues,” a KNVB statement on its website said to explain the decision to stage a replay of the match without any fans.
Ajax have until January 2 to appeal.
In other football news Wednesday, Liverpool’s former Ajax striker Luis Suarez has been banned by the English Football Association (FA) for one match and fined 20,000 pounds ($31,300) for a gesture made towards Fulham fans in the 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage earlier this month.
Uruguay international Suarez had admitted the latest charge of improper conduct, and Liverpool have also been fined the same amount for failing to control their players in the same match – a charge related to the dismissal of midfielder Jay Spearing.
It is a further blow for Suarez, who has starred for Liverpool since his move from Dutch football last season.
It comes a little over a week after he was given an eight-game suspension for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a match in October.
That ban is currently on hold while Liverpool decide whether to appeal, but Suarez’s new suspension means he will miss Friday’s home game against Newcastle United in the English Premier League.