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Ajax “punishes” new signing who made past pro-Feyenoord comments

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Finally, someone has a good time with past comments on social media, as the medium was intended.

Ajax signed 19-year-old goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen on a four-year deal from fellow Eredivisie club FC Emmen, and had a little fun with it. With rumors of Scherpen’s signing for the past few months, Ajax fans dug up old tweets from 2011 when the teen was just 11 years old and rooting for Feyenoord, one of Ajax’s biggest rivals.

While a number of Ajax fans COULDN’T BELIEVE that their potential new goalkeeper would have DARED to root for a team when he was in sixth grade, the club itself decided to instead poke fun at the situation while officially announcing the signing. In the video, Scherpen is seen being made to write “Ajax is de mooiste club van Nederland” over and over again, which translates to “Ajax is the finest club in the Netherlands.”

Ajax is a club that has recently built itself on developing and then selling young talent, and they weren’t going to be stopped from adding a bright young star just because he rooted for a rival club as a boy. Any professional athlete will tell you all that goes out the window when you’re employed by a team, and your career always comes first.

“Kjell is a very big talent and it is great that he has opted for Ajax,” said technical director Marc Overmars in the official team release. “We are very satisfied with [current first-team starting goalkeeper] Andre Onana’s recent contract extension, but we are of course also looking to the future. Kjell will be 1 of the 4 keepers in the A-selection and will therefore be on the training field with the first team on a daily basis. He is also young enough to be able to keep matches in the Kitchen Champion Division at Young Ajax.”

If anybody knows young goalkeeping talent, it’s Edwin van der Sar, former Manchester United legend between the sticks and current Ajax CEO. In the video, van der Sar and Overmars can be seen presiding over Scherpen’s “homework,” telling him sternly to pen his chosen phrase 100 times.

If there’s ever a way for a club’s PR team to drop a mic, this is most certainly it. Now the fans who campaigned to keep Scherpen out of the club should have no more gripe.

More than 100 weapon-carrying Ajax fans stopped by Italian police

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TURIN, Italy (AP) Another 60 weapon-carrying Ajax supporters have been stopped by Italian police, bringing the total to more than 100.

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The fans were stopped aboard buses on the outskirts of Turin shortly before Ajax’s Champions League match against Juventus on Tuesday.

A machete and three knives were among the weapons uncovered, as well as armored gloves, mouth guards and various types of fireworks.

Italian police stopped 54 weapon-carrying Ajax supporters on Monday and said they would be escorted out of the country.

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Ajax beat Juventus 2-1 on Tuesday to reach the Champions League semifinals for the first time since 1997. The first leg ended 1-1.

Police have been on high alert following clashes between Ajax and Juventus supporters ahead of the first leg in Amsterdam last week, when water cannons were used by authorities and dozens of fans were arrested.

Police find hand grenade at ADO Den Haag supporters HQ

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) Police in Den Haag say they found a hand grenade at a building used by supporters of the city’s soccer team, ADO Den Haag.

A photo published by local media showed the grenade hanging next to the building, which had also been sprayed with three Xs in red paint.

Local broadcaster Omroep West reported that a training session for ADO at its stadium nearby was halted while the grenade was removed.

The graffiti appears to suggest involvement of somebody from Amsterdam. The Dutch capital’s coat of arms features three Xs.

Amsterdam is home to Ajax, the Amsterdam club taking on Juventus on Wednesday in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Jacco van Leeuwen, chairman of the ADO supporters’ association, tells Omroep West “this is absolutely a new deep point in soccer history.”

In February, vandals suspected of being soccer hooligans from Den Haag painted graffiti including swastikas and anti-Semitic texts on buildings in Amsterdam ahead of a match between ADO and Ajax. Ajax is often portrayed as a club with historic links to Amsterdam’s Jewish community.

Schulz strikes late as Germany overcomes blown lead in Holland (video)

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Nico Schulz’s 90th minute goal helped Germany make amends for blowing a two-goal lead in a 3-2 defeat of the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Sunday, as the German opened EURO 2020 qualifying with all three points.

The win puts Germany a point back of Northern Ireland’s group-leading four, keeping the Dutch on three points.

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Goals by Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry had the Dutch trailing 2-0 in Amsterdam, but Memphis Depay is having himself a week.

Three days after scoring in the first minute as part of a brace in battering Belarus 4-0, Memphis set up Matthijs de Ligt after halftime before scoring himself to level the score line at 2.

But Hoffenheim’s Schulz scored in stoppage time to give the Germans their win.

Atlanta United hires Dutch legend De Boer to replace Martino

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Atlanta United will defend their MLS Cup with Frank De Boer at the helm.

The Major League Soccer side announced De Boer’s hiring on Sunday morning, a shade over two weeks removed from defeating Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup Final.

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De Boer takes over for Tata Martino, who is rumored to be filling the Mexico national team managerial opening.

“The club’s sportive ambitions, as set out in a long-term strategy to be the best in class, clearly fits my personal ambitions,” de Boer said. “I would like to build on the current success to develop a secure, solid foundation for the club at the top of MLS and beyond. Aside from the club’s ambitions, the values, culture and the philosophy for the entire organization are a vital part in realizing that point of success. This is exactly what I believe in as a person and as a coach. All of this combined, makes that I am really excited to be a part of it.”

The Dutchman has been out of management since a short-lived stint running Crystal Palace in 2017, and has also led Ajax and Inter Milan. He won four Eredivisie titles as Ajax boss, and was assistant manager for the Netherlands when the Dutch finished runners-up at the 2010 World Cup.

De Boer is better known as a defender, earning 112 caps and scoring 14 goals for the Netherlands in a career that saw him win the Champions League with Ajax and several domestic titles between the Dutch club and Barcelona.