Ajax-Alkmaar tie to be replayed in empty arena

The abandoned Dutch Cup tie between Ajax Amsterdam and AZ Alkmaar will be replayed on January 19 behind closed doors, the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced on Wednesday.

The December 20 match was halted after 38 minutes when an Ajax fan ran on to the pitch and attacked Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban, who picked up a red card from referee Bas Nijhuis for his violent retaliation against the supporter.

Alkmaar coach Gert Jan Verbeek immediately ordered his players back to the dressing room and the team refused to continue the match, saying they feared for their safety.

"This decision was easy to make as we only could choose between finishing the match and a replay" KNVB director Bert van Oostveen said.

Esteban's red card was rescinded by the Dutch FA last Thursday, which made the option of finishing the game with Ajax leading 1-0 impossible.

Ajax were also fined 10,000 euros for allowing the fan to get on the pitch.