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30th May 2022

ADO Den Haag fans launch flares at opposition fans after play-off loss

Daniel Brown

ADO Den Haag flares

More shocking scenes after a match

Dutch outfit ADO Den Haag have released a statement after the club’s fans responded to losing their Eredivisie promotion play-off to Excelsior by invading the pitch and launching flares into the away end.

Police were forced to intervene after corner flags, bottles and flares were thrown at away supporters after Den Haag lost 8-7 on penalties in their play-off clash with Excelsior.

The home side led the second leg of tie by three goals after a 1-1 draw in the first leg, however, they threw away their advantage with just 12 minutes to play.

After retaking the lead in the seventh minute of extra time, Den Haag appeared as though they were set to secure their spot in the Eredivisie next season. Then, 11 minutes later, Excelsior hit back and forced the game to penalties, which they won 8-7.

The club from Rotterdam will now compete in the Eredivisie next season, while Den Haag will remain in the Erste Division.

After Den Haag’s Jamal Amofa missed the deciding penalty which ensured his side would miss out on promotion, home supporters ran onto the pitch at the Cars Jeans Stadion and headed straight for the away end.

Excelsior fans were struck with lit flares, a corner flag and several bottles as police intervened to attempt to stop the chaos that was occurring on the pitch.

Chaos during the match

Referee Danny Makkelie had to pause the match on two occasions during the second leg, with Den Haag supporters twice running onto the field after thinking they had won and secured promotion.

Thijs Dallinga, who finished as the league’s top scorer with 32 goals, saw his 29th minute penalty saved by Den Haag’s goalkeeper Hugo Wentges, with Makkelie having to stop the match ‘with objects flying onto the field’.

Den Haag thought they had won the clash when Excelsior’s Michael Chacon saw red in the second minute of stoppage time, with his side still trialing 4-3. However, Dallinga bagged an equaliser just one minute later to send the game to extra time.

Home fans had to be sent back to the stands after they had made their way onto the sidelines to celebrate after the red card was shown.

ADO Den Haag release statement

On Monday (May 30), ADO Den Haag issued a statement in response to the incidents at the Cars Jeans Stadion. The statement, translated to English, read: “Last Sunday, after the match between ADO Den Haag and Excelsior in the final of the play-offs, things went completely wrong.

“What was supposed to be a highlight ended up as a double disappointment. Not only on the pitch, but especially off it. Supporters of ADO Den Haag sought confrontation with the people in the away stand, but also outside the stadium with the police and the ME. On behalf of ADO Den Haag, we are deeply ashamed of what happened yesterday.

“In an atmospheric stadium, the afternoon started very positively. A sold out and yellow-green Cars Jeans Stadium was in the mood for a true football party. Unfortunately, the mood completely changed after the game and the opposite was the case. The club is (once again) heavily discredited by a large group of troublemakers who cannot behave themselves. Supporters stormed the pitch and, until the ME intervened, threw fireworks and other objects at the away end. After that, things went completely wrong outside the stadium as well. Rioters sought confrontation with the ME at various locations around the stadium.

“On behalf of ADO Den Haag we offer our sincere apologies to the supporters who did not feel safe in and around the stadium, especially the supporters, players and staff of Excelsior. It is too embarrassing for words. The Cars Jeans Stadium should be an open and accessible place for everybody where every visitor should feel safe. Apart from the financial damage and possible fines, the damage to the club’s image is also very important at the moment. Incidents like this are causing the club to look bad.

“ADO Den Haag will do everything possible, in consultation with all the authorities, to hold the troublemakers responsible for the damage caused and severely punish them for their misconduct. All camera images inside and outside the stadium will be analysed. We do not want to anticipate the measures, but long-term stadium bans will be part of the measures.”

Saint-Étienne fans attack players

The violence in the Netherlands follows shocking scenes in France where home fans attacked their own players after they were relegated to Ligue 2 following their play off defeat to Auxerre on Sunday.

After relegation was confirmed, fans turned on their players in aggressive fashion and chose to confront the squad, board and directors with violent methods.

Supporters ran onto the pitch at the Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium and began throwing flares and smoke bombs into the stands towards the directors box while also appearing to attempt to attack and confront their own players.

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