On Monday evening, the Ajax Women were welcomed to loud cheers for their honor in club Levenslang. Fans had joined forces to organize a ceremony after an official public ceremony was cancelled. “They need to know how proud we are of them.”
There is no shortage of beer, pizza and champagne during the alternative celebration of the Amsterdammers. “Look around you, this is great. That so many people have come to celebrate this party with us,” says keeper Lize Kop.
“If Ajax doesn’t do it, then we will”, organizer Shannice Wilner thought. “They deserve to be put in the spotlight. And they need to know that we stand behind them and are proud of them.”
In between all the revelry, there is still a lot of misunderstanding about the public ceremony that ultimately did not take place. Ajax’s arguments that there would be a lack of party atmosphere because the men had a disappointing season and that the attendance would be too small, are considered nonsense by the fans here. “I’m actually still angry. We don’t live in the ’50s anymore. Why does a shitty season for the men have anything to do with the success of the women?” one fan wonders.
Wilner: “They get the opportunity to celebrate a ceremony on the fucking Leidseplein and then you don’t do that. This shows girls who play football now that you don’t care what performance you deliver. And I think that’s very bad.” Tara, 6, adds: “Edwin van der Sar is just a pancake. With syrup and sugar.”
According to captain Sherida Spitse, disappointment prevailed with most players, but good talks have now been held with the management of Ajax. “We said good things, they explained things. Ultimately, you want to continue together, we are one club together. And we think it’s great that people organize this for us,” she says.