Maurice Steijn Calls for Action Over Ajax’s Free Laser Treatment

Photo of Maurice Steijn

Ajax is calling on UEFA to take action following its Europa League match against Greek side AEK Athens. The club finds it unacceptable that AEK supporters were able to shine laser pens throughout the game on Thursday night, requested by Maurice Steijn.

“I really hope this will be addressed,” coach Maurice Steijn said after the undecided game (1-1) in the Greek capital. ”I have seen them shine on me, on my goalkeeper, on my penalty taker and even on our public. I think this is unacceptable and that from that club or UEFA should intervene.”

Steven Berghuis also thinks UEFA should intervene. “Surely this is bizarre, they have to do something about this,” he said. Steven Bergwijn shot Ajax into the lead in Athens. He exploited a penalty kick while dozens of green laser beams shone on his face. “The referee asked me if I wanted to take that penalty,” the captain said. ,,I said: just do it. They won’t stop it anyway. I know where the goal is.”

Referee Matej Jug will no doubt have mentioned the laser pens in his report on the match. European football federation UEFA will consider the reports of the last European duels after the weekend. After that, the disciplinary committee will decide whether an investigation and possible penalties will follow.

Maurice Steijn spoke of a ‘free laser treatment’ after the 1-1 draw against AEK. By that, he was referring to several Greek fans who were shining laser pens at Ajacans. This was particularly evident when Steven Bergwijn was ready to take a penalty. ,,I saw them shining on me, my goalkeeper, my penalty taker and even on our audience. I think that is not acceptable and that from the club or UEFA should intervene.”

Devyne Rensch was bothered when he threw in. “Then you see blurry for a while. We knew from previous times that it could get violent here,” he was referring to Ajax’s 2018 away game. “As a player, I can then say they should stop, but they go on anyway.”

Steijn sees progression
Steijn did speak highly of his side’s performance in the Greek capital Athens. ,,I think we did well in this ambiance. When I see the game against RKC, you see progression. We cannot train very much, but in what we can do, you also see progression. What I mainly see is that a team is emerging. In the beginning, that was also very difficult. We all know that. But we also have to remain critical, because we are still sloppy on the ball in particular.”

The Hague coach stated that central defensive duo Josip Sutalo and Gastón Ávila still looked unaccustomed. ,,On the ball they definitely need to improve, but in the box they are already doing better. They stood their ground there. In defence, I thought they stood well.”


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