Three years in prison for Ajax supporter who threw mortar bomb at Arena last year

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The Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam
NOS News

The court in Amsterdam has sentenced a 24-year-old Ajax supporter to three years in prison. Sohaib L. was involved in disturbances prior to the Ajax-Benfica match in the Johan Cruijff Arena in March last year. He threw a mortar bomb, extremely heavy fireworks, into an area of ​​the stadium where riot police, stewards and security guards were present.

Prior to the match, Ajax fans held a so-called ‘atmosphere action’ on the square in front of the Arena. In addition, supporters of the Amsterdam club prepared themselves “with singing, drumming, heavy fireworks and flares” for the Champions League game, according to the court’s ruling. The atmosphere turned aggressive when a mob stormed a door of the stadium to force it open so that people without tickets could also enter.


According to the court, it has been proven that S. belonged to that group. When the mob had broken down the door and thrown in flaming torches, he threw in a mortar bomb. Due to the loud blast, some ME’s have contracted tinnitus, hearing a constant loud beep.

The incident with the mortar bomb made a great impression on all those present. Some feared for their lives, the court said. An riot police officer said he had never experienced “such a frightening situation” before and that is why he is resigning his position with the riot police.

‘High prison sentence’

L. said during the trial that he thought he threw in a smoke bomb, but the court finds that not credible because his description of the object resembled a mortar bomb. In addition, there are indications that the man has previously traded in illegal fireworks.

According to the court, the 24-year-old Ajax supporter has seriously infringed the personal integrity and health of the victims. “Given the number of victims and potential victims, the enormous aggression with which the offense was accompanied, the exceptional situation that has occurred as a result and the limited insight that the Defendant has given about his actions, the court considers a long prison sentence to be appropriate.”

L. must also pay the ME’ers and the Arena a total compensation of 40,000 euros. He was previously released from pre-trial detention, but was detained again immediately after the court’s verdict.

  • Officers injured in disturbances at Arena
  • Interior

  • Football

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