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Demolish structures – NRC

At the start of the football weekend I turned on the radio for the previews. ‘If you demolish a neighbourhood, you also destroy the social structure’, was the first thing that came out. The item was about a working-class neighborhood that was being demolished, but maybe it also applied to teams: if you demolish them, you also destroy the social structure. When the Lionesses leveled Cyprus 8-0 the night before, the Cypriot players started shouting angrily at each other after each goal against. Their friendly ties visibly lost cohesion.

On Saturday afternoon, the bulldozers were roaring at the Kitchen Champion Division. Roda JC against Emmen. Within ten minutes Roda had knocked down a building at Emmen and Emmen one at Roda: 1-1. At Utrecht-Heerenveen, that lioness battle was not demolished either, but with 2-1 Utrecht pulled the furniture out at Heerenveen and left it with only one goal to sit on – one that Utrecht had also made itself.

RKC Waalwijk against Sparta was still 0-0 in the 63rd minute. Michiel Kramer missed an opportunity, out of frustration he smashed his head against the goalpost as if he was going to destroy it like that. In the 89th minute he did indeed manage to score with that same head. For the morale of the opposing supporters, the goal in the last minute has to be about the biggest sledgehammer. At PEC Zwolle against Heracles, PEC scored the 1-0 in the 92nd minute. Behind the goal, it looked as if the fans would tear down the stadium in sheer joy.

The bulldozers continued undisturbed over the national football fields and ended in the Johan Cruijff Arena where the canal belt and Zuidas, united, close and strong, were ready for Ajax-PSV. Now you can say: ‘Hela, Ajax supporters consist of more than rich people, the club has traditionally belonged to Amsterdam-Noord and Betondorp, working-class neighborhoods from here to there, et cetera’, but with tickets of at least 45 euros, Ajax has outgrown the working-class area. . When the city rises, so does the football club. A ticket for the opera, to call a spectacle known as snobbish, costs 31 euros. For that you will get three and a half hours of Don Giovanni. Ajax-PSV with the women costs between 2.5 and 7 euros.

Ajax demolished PSV in a controlled manner. PSV had therefore gone onto the field without supporting pillars. Explosives were attached to the walls that the people of Eindhoven brought with them: Steven Berghuis, Sébastien Haller, Antony, Davy Klaassen, Dusan Tadic; they detonated one by one. PSV has fallen to the dust from which it will rise again, because an essential difference between a demolished team and a demolished neighborhood is that the team comes back together to play. As a rule, if you survive destruction together, you become stronger together. Former residents of derelict neighborhoods no longer see each other. What they can do is buy season tickets for the whole family with the approximately 6,000 euros moving money they receive. Can they encourage their club for four or five seasons? At home they don’t have carpets or curtains, but hey, you have to give something for your club.

Carolina Trujillo is a writer.

Demolish structures – NRC
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