For over 5 years now ‘De Klassieker’ between the two biggest clubs in Holland, Ajax and Feyenoord, has been compromised by the Dutch Government. Since 2009 the Dutch authorities have decided to ban away supporters at the matches between the two clubs after their violent history.
The biggest derby in the Dutch Eredivisie hasn’t been what it was several years ago. You have Ajax from the capital of Holland, Amsterdam, the supporters from the city life. The supporters of Ajax use South America as their example for the support in their stadium, the Amsterdam ArenA. They use a lot of flags, drums, snares, bandanas and use the same songs from that region of the world.
On the other hand you have Feyenoord, which can be seen as the counterpart of Ajax. Feyenoord located in the second biggest city of Holland, Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a classic workers city mostly known for its harbor which is one of the biggest in the world. They are traditionally seen as more blue collar compared to their Ajax counterparts. The atmosphere in the legendary stadium of Feyenoord, de Kuip, is also very different than in Amsterdam. At Feyenoord they hate the South American style and use unique songs to support their team.
The support in Amsterdam used to be worse than in Rotterdam, however times are changing and Feyenoord hasn’t got the legendary atmosphere it used to have.
The firm of Feyenoord, the SCF, which stands for Sport Club Feyenoord was a legendary firm back in the days. While their main rival has always been the supporters from Ajax Amsterdam go by the name of their stand, the F-Side.
Battle of Beverwijk
The rivalry has had its ups and down, but back in 1997 it reached its peek when one of the Ajax topboys, “Picornie”, was stabbed to death by Feyenoord supporters. This was also the first death caused by football violence in Holland. The supporters of both teams agreed to meet on the side of a Highway where they had a massive fight which ended in one Ajax supporter killed and many more injured. The massive fight is called the Battle of Beverwijk, after this the rivalry changed for ever. The police came too late to make any arrests and only later on supporters from both clubs were arrested. In the end, one Feyenoord supporter was sentenced to 5 years in jail for the killing of Picornie.
After this massive fight there have been some small fights and riots in the years since, but never quite like what happened in Beverwijk. The fight also had its effect on the firms of Ajax and Feyenoord, especially on the side of the SCF where people started blaming each other for talking with the police and some hooligans decided it was enough and they stepped out of the violent lifestyle they used to live.
Even though some people quit, a lot more new lads are interested in the violent lifestyle and definitely after the Battle of Beverwijk they feel like the new guys have to step up and defend their honour and city. Another massive riot took place in 2005 in Rotterdam between Feyenoord and Ajax. While Feyenoord hooligans also cornered and attacked the riot police.
Since then the times have changed and the Dutch authorities have the scene quite under control and the hooliganism has changed from massive fights back in the day to the small groups fighting each other nowadays. The Klassieker in Holland has been ruined by these new rules and its remains unknown if there will ever be away supporters allowed again.
One thing is for sure, when both clubs meet each other again, it will be total madness once again.