Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm quite the idiot.

Really, I should have known the KNVB would use any opportunity to take every possible chunk out of Ajax. Here is the match ruling from last week's AZ cup match debacle, to go with the Esteban Alvarado red card removal already announced:

- Entire game replayed on Jan. 19th
- Played at empty ArenA (oh, and sorry, but no KNVB ticket refunds)
- Expected security fine for Ajax
- No sanction of any kind for AZ

How neat and lovely. They even manage to punish the other 35,000 people in the stands that night. Congrats to Gertjan Verbeek for taking advantage of one crazy non-Ajacied person to hoodwink all favor. Apparently, he can now simply pull his players back to the bus with no repercussion if a ref makes a decision he doesn't like. Fine, have it your way. Now let's see what happens in the Eredivisie meeting at AZ three days later after Ajax loses that replayed cup match.

You'd probably think all Ajax fans would be hyper-pissed about stuff like this, but really, we're used to it. Nothing new. We already saw the whole Champions League farce swept under ASAP earlier this month. Nobody blinks anymore, it's almost expected. The days of "Lucky Ajax" ended with Zlatan's offside winner in the 2002 KNVB Cup final.

I've been here long enough. I really should have known better.



- Greg Seltzer

45 comments:

Phil McCracken said...

The decision to replay the entire match is totally unfair to Ajax, but I think that your anger towards Verbeek is misplaced. The blame here is solely on the KVNB for this dumb outcome.

Greg Seltzer said...

I'm not angry at Verbeek for the outcome. However, we must admit that this outcome was his intention. Some would insist he is simply doing his job to gain competitive advantage. I won't argue that, but it's not something I'd want to gain, let alone push for in action.

As I've said before, I can't stand having the game result altered artificially, regardless of who gains or loses out. Hell, I feel shame when someone hands me a win by scratching on the 8 ball.

But yeah... the easiest way to ensure anything perfect and beautiful becomes a wanton mess is to involve lots of humans. (sigh)

Andy said...

Thinking back upon other such events (i.e., not just going on pitch but attacking a player), that's pretty consistent. And I have nothing against Ajax, personally.

Greg Seltzer said...

Which event are you referring to?

Lampard in the End Zone said...

I would never call you an idiot, Greg, but your headline reminded me of:
http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/youare

As for Ajax punishment, I think there should only be sanctions for the security breach and the game should continue in the 37th minute with Ajax up 1-0.

While I cannot fault Verbeek for he actions, this sets a dangerous president if you disagree with a decision with an official, albeit in unexpected and extraordinary circumstances. He, at the very least, should be warned about such conduct. In my opinion, he should at least been given a ban for the match.

Greg Seltzer said...

I fully agree, Lampy. I'm not exactly sure why AZ get the goal removed and the clock reset, rewarding Verbeek above and beyond for abandoning the game over a ref dispute. It's bad for the game.

florean said...

I agree that the match should be continued where it was stopped, but let's remember, the ref made a horribly wrong decision. The law is clearly meant to apply to violence against other players on the field, not self-defense against outside individuals bent on bodily harm to a player.

And it is perfectly reasonable to withdraw your team after an incident like that. You would hope it won't happen again, but players can't focus on the game if they are worried about someone attacking them from behind. You can't say that a physical attack against one of their teammates wouldn't shake up a team.

Frankly, anytime there is a security breach like that, the game should be suspended until the cause of that breach is investigated and additional measures are put in place to try to prevent it from happening again. It sucks that one individual can alter the result of a game like that, but continuing to play the game and pretend that he did not is worse than replaying the whole thing. It isn't the best outcome, but it is better than what you seem to be advocating.

Greg Seltzer said...

1 - The KNVB declared that the ref made no error in his job. And the rule is clearly NOT meant to apply only to violence against other players, with many precedents to that end.


2 - In no way of any kind, is it perfectly reasonable to gain competitive advantage, which is what happened. Verbeek did not pull anyone anywhere until the red card appeared. Why exactly does AZ have special right to cease a game because they don't like a call - then come back later and accept a bonus time warp reward for abandoning the pitch?



3 - "It sucks that one individual can alter the result of a game like that, but continuing to play the game and pretend that he did not is worse than replaying the whole thing."

I do not follow your logic. Replaying the whole thing does exactly that, essentially handing the power to alter the match to that same individual. However, by moving the resumption to another day with no one in the stands and the score 1-0 Ajax at the time of the incident, his effect on the result is removed.



"It isn't the best outcome, but it is better than what you seem to be advocating."

At the start, you said you agreed with me that the game should be resumed from the time of suspension with Ajax up 1-0. I've also said it's fine if AZ are at a full 11 men. I've said the Ajax fine is too low and an empty stadium penalty was my suggestion from the go. I've said it's ridiculous for the KNVB to deny refunds to the fans. What have I advocated unfairly?

The Clueless Yank said...

How about fining the idiot skinhead to refund the tickets for all the fans? I'd think paying that debt off for the rest of his life would stop others from doing that.

Greg Seltzer said...

They could do whatever they want with him. I'm sure he has fines and charges out the wazoo, with people avoiding him like the plague right now.

Connor Walsh said...

You failed to mention that Ajax weren't doing their jobs at all, first allowing in the guy in the grounds the first place, as he was on a 3-year stadium ban, and then failing to stop him before he made it to the goalkeeper.

Ajax have themselves to blame as much as anyone. Had they kept the fan out like they should've done, then none of this would've happened. All of this stems from Ajax's failure, to keep the man out, not Verbeeks decision to remove the players due to "safety" concerns. Had Ajax done what they said they would do then perhaps they move on to the next round without incident.

A fair outcome if you ask me.

Greg Seltzer said...

I've mentioned, repeatedly and at length, how Ajax security deserved to be in hot water, how it's unfortunate and embarrassing.

However, the guy was given another person's scan-card ticket to the lowest threat entrance gate out of nine. How you imagine they could have stopped that is beyond me.



"All of this stems from Ajax's failure, to keep the man out, not Verbeeks decision to remove the players due to "safety" concerns."


Whoa, whoa, whoa and whoa there. First off, hard done by red card does not = abandon the match at your whim. I'm not exactly sure when AZ gained this magical power to set the rules of the game until they get their way.

Secondly, you seem to have removed all possible blame from the actual drunken, out-of-towner hooligan. You may wish to amend that "all" you have there.

Finally, you basically admitted with punctuation that the "reason" for his decision was a ruse.



"Had Ajax done what they said they would do then perhaps they move on to the next round without incident.

A fair outcome if you ask me."


So you really think Verbeek pulls everyone if there's no red card? If AZ had been up 1-0?

I'll tell you one more thing, though. Ajax would have NEVER walked away like that. And you should see the calls they get and the things that get thrown at them from the stands most every other week.

Phil McCracken said...

Who would have thought that the most commented NSC blog postings would be about a Dutch KNVB Cup match?

Andy said...

Greg. I think you are misinterpreting AZs decision to leave the field. It likely wasn't just because the ref decided to give the keeper a red. It was more likely to have been the *combination* of a violent pitch invasion (by one lunatic) followed the red.

i.e., "So not only are Ajax fans coming out of the stands to attack my players, they will get red cards if they defend themselves."

Sorry, but that is NOT the environment to play a game in, when an "announcement" has just gone out to all of the lunatic home supporters (admittedly, a small minority) how they can influence of the outcome of the game and get an opposing player kicked off.

Greg Seltzer said...

Andy, I am not misinterpreting anything and I personally know Verbeek a little bit.

Remember when everyone else got worried because Jozy didn't start that one game and the coach had made comments? I called that one on the nose, too.

Besides... if the decision was a "combination" of these two things, then some percentage of it was a game ploy. And if some percentage of it was a game ploy, then the leftover percentage is bunk. Plain and simple. One is either pulling a hoodwink or one is not.

I think everyone who even considers believing his move was not fully about the red card is having a straight laugh on themselves.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

(Edited, sorry!)

Personally, I agree with the match being restarted from where it left off on a later date. However, if I was a player on the field, there is NO way I could focus as I could at the beginning of the game before this lunacy happened. To continue the game right after the incident wouldn't be fair to *either* team.

dikranovich said...

greg, you are the best. i mean, you defend your team to the hilt. so that probably does have to be respected. but think about what you say. its all excuses, that are followed up with how unfair ajax are treated on other occasions.

this ruling is meant to deter fans from doing this kind of thing in the future. dont belittle the field intruder, because he was an ajax fan and a hooligan. he new the least secure gate to enter and he had friends with tickets. if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, its probably a duck.

ajax can still take victory from this match, and all in all, they could have been forced to forfeit the game.

Greg Seltzer said...

I'm not defending "my team" here - I'm defending the game.

Secondly, he is NOT an Ajax supporter. I cannot be more clear about this.

Finally, by your logic, Verbeek has officially set a precedent where a team can not like a ref decision and abandon the match - then get their way and then some on top of it.

Now... which of these two do you really fear moving forward in time? One jacknut quick enough to grab three seconds of international infamy or managers thinking "Hey, but AZ did it!"?

For me, it's not even close. Security will be increased, if not replaced, and they won't allow this to happen and screw them over the most ever again. That's my honest 2 cents, regardless of who was on either end of it. To me, the shocking outcome is what certain teams are allowed to do to improve their results artificially.

Greg Seltzer said...

I mean, hey... if you ain't beating them, just walk off the pitch and demand a do-over.

Unknown said...

Honestly I don't know why we're arguing. :) You're obviously a huge Ajax fan and see more than we do, and we not being in the Netherlands, don't know the deeper side of the league. We're just giving our impressions of what happened from the view of an outsider.

Greg Seltzer said...

Well, I don't feel like we're arguing - debating at most. You want to hear legitimately how I find the situation, so I want to explain myself as thoroughly as I can. Besides, it's a very Dutch thing to do. Heh.

To be honest, it's very strange having the last couple of controversies involving them. The best I can do is assure that my great dislike predates this event and is related directly to the result massaging. That kind of thing has always bothered me and I do not believe that this particular incident warrants a forfeit or do-over.

That's honestly where I stand. I'm aware not everyone will agree and I'm sure a few will assume it's homer-ism. For me, it was either that or say nothing about it.

And we all know I can't shut up.

GMC said...

I think where I lose you in all this, Greg, is when you insist that Verbeek pulling his team sets some precendent. I am sorry, I just do not agree. Your insinuation that this will lead to teams abandoning matches because they dislike a referees decision is a stretch.

My take: Verbeek pulls his team because something outside of the actual game has put his team at a disadvantage. If Alvarado had been sent off for something to do with the game (ie, a bad tackle), the game continues, EVEN if that call was blatantly wrong. Why? Because the action in question (whether legal or not) pertained to the game itself.

We see awful calls in matches around the world on a weekly basis and I cannot recall a manager pulling his team because of one, as long as it truly comes from the game itself.

This situation is a unique one. For me, the only precedent it sets is for the next time a fan runs from the stands, attacks a player and gets that player sent off. If this scenario somehow plays out again, the manager is within his or her right to pull their team and not stand for the ridiculous decision made by the referee.

Greg Seltzer said...

He didn't act within the game, consulting the ref, who could have certainly granted a suspension. He forced it abandoned with his team down 1-0 near halftime, reacting to a decision he didn't like. I'm not of mind to simply go around these things.

To not even censure this behavior, much less reward it 100%, is disconcerting for me. I can only speak for myself.

dikranovich said...

greg please dont forget that ajax could have been forced to forfeit this game. i dont think that is to far fetched and this fact seems to be lost on you a little bit.

i just dont seem how you can rationalize a fan coming onto the field and causing the official to give a red card to an undeserving player and then thinking this is ok? where is the logic? where is it? yes, ajax is getting punished for one "fan".

dikranovich said...

what if arsene wenger thought that the red card van persie received in the champions league game last year was so unfair that he decided to pull his team off the pitch. he could have said something like, look at all the fans, how could anyone hear a whistle in this caulderon. wenger could have trotted off the field with his team, in a principled move. if this had happened, arsenal would have been charged with a forfeit, no?

Greg Seltzer said...

"greg please dont forget that ajax could have been forced to forfeit this game. i dont think that is to far fetched and this fact seems to be lost on you a little bit."


Could have been forced to forfeit? Erm... okay. By the same token, they could have been forced to resume at 1-0 in the 38th minute. I'm not locating your point here.




"i just dont seem how you can rationalize a fan coming onto the field and causing the official to give a red card to an undeserving player and then thinking this is ok? where is the logic? where is it?"

I did this? Where? When? In what way?

And again, your definition of "fan" is rather broad for my taste.




"yes, ajax is getting punished for one "fan".


I am going to try this one last time. The guy is not an Ajax supporter. What is not getting through here?

Help me help you, because if you keep throwing false premise at me and insisting I take positions I don't hold, this is futile.

I am not going to bend reality and go out of my way to choose against Ajax just to "prove" I can be objective - that's pandering.

It is possible that we can disagree the proper course of action without regard to the club(s) involved. I'm not ever going to applaud or wish to reward this sort of procedure when it artificially tampers with results.

Rescind the red card and resume in an empty ArenA, with a fine to the club? Great! That's all proper by me.

Patting Verbeek on the back for an action technically worth 11 red cards that puts his team above everyone else? Not on your life.

If Ajax did that, I'd be mortified. And I'd call it crap just the same.

Greg Seltzer said...

"what if arsene wenger thought that the red card van persie received in the champions league game last year was so unfair that he decided to pull his team off the pitch. he could have said something like, look at all the fans, how could anyone hear a whistle in this caulderon. wenger could have trotted off the field with his team, in a principled move. if this had happened, arsenal would have been charged with a forfeit, no? "



Perhaps I'm misreading this, but are you not making my point for me here?

Justin said...

You're crazy, Greg. This is the right call. The only other possibility was Ajax suffering a 3-0 forfeit. They alone are responsible for the fans, and the blame isn't with the 35,000 fans or even with the one nut, but with Ajax's lax security that allowed a guy to run 40 yards onto a field to karate kick him.

dikranovich said...

greg, you are the one who mentioned this guy is from almere, which does not strike me as being so "out of town". i dont know why this guy ran on the field, maybe another fan provoked him, or maybe he just was a rogue fan, whatever.

it seems like a lot of what you are providing does not have so much to do with this particular situation. you may know the az coach, but honestly, so what. he might be a complete ahole and that does not change the fact that he acted in the best interest of his team and in the interest of fairness, because as possession dictates, if he plays the game out and loses, where is AZs recourse?

Justin said...

PS - it appears that most of the regulars at the ref's forum on BigSoccer (there are a lot of Ajax-supporting invaders) seem to agree with the decision. Rant away, Greg.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Justin:


"You're crazy, Greg."

Yes, I'm aware, but I fail to see how that relates to this discussion.


"This is the right call. The only other possibility was Ajax suffering a 3-0 forfeit."


Well, that's just not true.


"They alone are responsible for the fans... "

They are responsible for some guy scoring someone else's card for a KNVB-issued ticket?

You do realize that the person that who handed over their card broke the law to do so, right?


"... and the blame isn't with the 35,000 fans... "

I can't imagine you've gotten this idea from me.



"... or even with the one nut... "

I'm sorry, but in what conceivable framing does the guy who ran out there not have blame?



"... but with Ajax's lax security that allowed a guy to run 40 yards onto a field to karate kick him... "

I've said this already.

dikranovich said...

the thing about the arsenal example, which of course was maybe our only other debate ever, is that fans can yell and scream and do all kinds of things, but they cant come on the field and attack a player.

i see where you coming from also, because you are like, the fa found that the official acted properly, so why is ajax being punished, but the fact that the judge acted properly, based on the situation at the moment, from his percpective and the fact that a fan came onto the pitch are two seperate things.

dikranovich said...

greg, please address the fact that almere is actually a suburb of amsterdam.

Greg Seltzer said...

"greg, you are the one who mentioned this guy is from almere, which does not strike me as being so "out of town"."


No, the police said so. I merely relayed it.

And yes, it is out of town. One needs two trains and a bus totaling 45 minutes to get there. It's on a different land mass and there is a string of alternating farm land and some towns of 20,000 people in between.



"it seems like a lot of what you are providing does not have so much to do with this particular situation."

Feel free to point out which things.


"... you may know the az coach, but honestly, so what. he might be a complete ahole... "

I neither said nor do I think such a thing. In fact, I originally said that I understood his reaction in the moment. What I do not care for is the posturing for competitive advantage that occurred after that.


"... and that does not change the fact that he acted in the best interest of his team and in the interest of fairness... "


These things are not congruent. The fact is he acted in his team's interest. The opinion is you think he did so fairly. I cannot agree and it certainly has nothing to do with him personally.

Greg Seltzer said...

"greg, please address the fact that almere is actually a suburb of amsterdam. "


This is flat-out false. Almere is not even in the same province.

Greg Seltzer said...

And just to dispel another apparent confusion... other than this debate, I'm over it personally. As a supporter, I was over it before they made the announcement. I have no rant to make or bad feeling toward AZ. And frankly, I'm not overly concerned with the cup match. As an Ajax supporter, and I feel I can speak for all of them at this time, we're most concerned about the league game three days later.

Heck, I'm almost hoping AZ wins the cup match now, so we'll be good and pissed for the weekend at their house. As far as I'm concerned, as an Ajacied, Jozy should score four goals in the replay. Alvarado can score a goal in the replay. Pile on. I hope AZ beats them 6-0 in the replay.

dikranovich said...

greg, alexandria va is not in washington dc, but it is still a suburb of our nations capital. manasas is even further from washington than both almere and alexandria, but nonetheless, yes, manasas is a suburb of dc.

besides, almere was only created in the past thirty or so years and im sure you know why it was created. so maybe we can establish that almere IS actually a suburb of all of ours most favorite city on the planet, which you do seem to have the good fortune of residing in.

then maybe we can start working on what prompted this hooligan to take to the field. was it too much beer, or was it a loose nut, or was this person maybe pushed by some other fans to commit his act? these are all importaint issues.

dikranovich said...

gregg, we are not going to let you off the hook that easy.

Greg Seltzer said...

Almere is not in any way to anyone a suburb of Amsterdam. Since most people outside of the Netherlands would never even think about the existence of Almere, it might be safe to assume you are the only person alive who finds it factual that this is so. Seriously. It's faster to get to by boat. It takes longer to get to than Alkmaar, which is located further away on a flat map, where straight distance measured between doesn't automatically cover things like most of it being water.

dikranovich said...

interesting, but generation adidas lost to almere city fc 2-0, but outshot the dutch side 27 to 6. i wonder how many of those 27 shots were on target.

dikranovich said...

just so that we can all be informed. based on wikiwiki, because of a demand for housing post world war 2 in amsterdam, two towns were created in the flavoland. yes, one of those towns was almere.

Greg Seltzer said...

"just so that we can all be informed. based on wikiwiki, because of a demand for housing post world war 2 in amsterdam, two towns were created in the flavoland. yes, one of those towns was almere."


And... ?????????

Amsterdam is in Noord-Holland province. Almere is in Flevoland province. Wiki says nothing of it being related to Amsterdam in any way. They are mostly separated by water and have no social living or government connection whatsoever.

Suburbs are connected to a city. Almere is not connected to the city that's connected to city that's connected to Weesp... which is also not an Amsterdam suburb.

Under no definition stretched beyond the natural limit is Almere an Amsterdam suburb, plain and simple.

Jay said...

If someone else needs to pop in here and say "this conversation has gotten ridiculous," I volunteer.

This conversation has gotten ridiculous.

dikranovich said...

greg, im sorry, almere is not a suburb of amsterdam, even though it is only 14.6 miles, city center, to city center. the way the crow flies. 21.4 round about. the point is this, a guy spends his time in amsterdam and lives in almere, he aint no, oh jee wiz "out of towner". and he was coaxed onto the field by somebody, or more likely a group of people. and this is the real bottom line. the decision was one that will make fans think twice when they think it will be funny to see another fan go onto the field.