Image Credit: AP Photo/Stanley Gontha.
We don’t often get to use the terms ‘mayhem’ and ‘drama’ when we’re talking about the KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup). That’s mainly because we rarely bother to cover it, but our attention was drawn specifically to the game between AZ Alkmaar and Ajax last night, when a fan onto the pitch and tried to attack Alkmaar ‘keeper Esteban.
The incident took place shortly before half time with the score at 1-0 to Ajax, and as you can see from the photographic aftermath, Esteban’s response to the surprise attack was a reflexive leg lift, followed by a (slightly less reflexive) flurry of well aimed kicks.
The referee clearly had no alternative but to send the player off, which angered his team mates and prompted the manager to take them off the field. The match was abandoned, and the world now waits to find out how the KNVB (Dutch FA) will deal with both Esteban and the result.
It’s all a bit aggro for our delicate sensibilities. But once again, the issue of player safety on the pitch will get some attention. Do you think Esteban’s punishment should reflect his right to operate in what should be a safe environment? Or should he have shown more discipline as a professional?
Have another mince pie and tell us.