AZ Goalie Gets Red Card For Defending Himself Against Attacking Ajax Fan

During Wednesday’s Dutch Cup match between Eredivisie clubs AZ Alkmaar and Ajax, a crazed fan ran towards AZ goaltender Esteban Alvarado in the 38th minute, and attempted to land a kick to the Costa Rican goalie’s face.  Alvarado did what any person in that situation would do—he retaliated with a few well-placed kicks of his own to the downed Ajax supporter, until teammates showed up and separated the two.

So what did Alvarado get for defending himself against the hooligan who invaded the pitch?  Why, he got sent off the pitch after getting a red card for his violent outburst.

He most absolutely did.

Yes, the ref saw fit to eject the AZ netminder for kicking his attacker, because I’m assuming that soccer players are required to be perfect gentlemen, even when a crazed fan is bearing down on them with the sole intent to hurt them really, really bad.

Obviously the ejection stunned the AZ Alkmaar squad, and manager Gertjan Verbeek immediately pulled his players out of the game after Alvarado’s straight red, thus abandoning the match with Ajax leading 1-0.  Wise move on Verbeek’s part, seeing that the refs clearly don’t have the players’ safety in mind.

Video of the bizarre incident follows the jump…

No word on whether the two teams will ever resume the match, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Alkmaar flat out refuses to finish the game, just out of principle alone.

[H/T to The Denim Kit]


About the author: Jeff Greenwell


Jeff Greenwell is the writer/editor of Last Angry Fan. Jeff has been known to rock a Speedo while belting out Robert Goulet tunes from his front porch, and in his spare time he enjoys capturing and training feral goats to be his minions. Also known to dig a nice brick of cheese from time to time.



Editor's Picks

  • Santos1782

    What the refs did was actually the right thing.  In the FIFA rule book it states that if a player on the field assalts another player or spectature, he needs to be ejected from the game for unsportmanlike conduct.

    • TNA

      you sound like a complete pussy/tool i hope you know 

    • Shomar

      That doesn’t mean its the right thing to do, this rule needs to be changed

    • Face Kicker

      Well, I say red and you say green. I did’nt see an assalt by a player, I saw a player on the field, and a idiot come running across the field and assalt the player. I saw a player defend hisself.

    • Sportsmom

      Honestly, those rules apply only if the player was not in danger.  The ref should have stopped the game and had the spectator ejected, not the player.  He was within his rights to defends himself, and the ref should have his calls evaluated.

    • Pk_kenna

      It was the right thing to do because it was in the rules with no context or clauses for this particular circumstance. Because we all know that rules/laws are 100% 360 degree and account for every possible circumstance in the whole universe. Thus they are God and we should obey them as such without any free thought of our own.

      Shut up.

    • pato

      -_- dude the guy attacked him

    • Inmatom

      I am aware of the FIFA rules, however, the referee, being a human, is supposed to interpret the rule and apply it to the present act.  The rule is in place to prevent any player from injuring a fan, coach, bystander, by being the agressor in the altercation, i.e. instigating the physical part. etc.  In this case, however, the goalie clearly was defending himself — the crazed fan was charging the goalie and attempted a mid-air kick towards the goalie.  The goalie did not provoke the crazed fan in any way whatsoever.  The goalie did what any human, soccer player or not, would have done.  The home team, if anyone, should have been issued a yellow card for failing to provide proper security personnel at the game.

  • Footie

    First red should have been issued to Vertonghen as the Ajax captain.  Failure to control their own supporters is on the home side, not the visitors.  AZ should refuse to suit up for any match this twunt officiates.  Clearly he hasn’t got a handle on anything.  I don’t think they would stand alone in this and this should means the ugly bastard’s career!

    • Shomar

      U’ve never reffed a football game before have you?

  • Clark

    Anyone remember Stefi Graf getting stabbed?  What was this guy supposed to do?  Run and hope the psyho didn’t have some kind of weapon?

    • Sgdhfj

      It wasn’t Stefi, it was Monica Seles who was stabbed.

    • Rboggs68

      It was Monica Selis that was stabbed. Other than that I agree, idiots ruin sports for true fans.

    • JustSaying

      Your memory is not as good as you think it is…  It was Monica Seles who was stabbed, not Steffi Graf.

    • Kenny

      It wasn’t Steffi Graf that got stabbed during a tennis match in 1993 but her then-rival, Monica Seles, by an alleged Steffi Graf fan. Kenny.

  • Josh Truax

    This sort of thing has happened at least twice before in the last couple of seasons. Apparently most national football associations have strict policies against players confronting pitch intruders under any circumstances, lest they instigate a full-scale riot in the stadium by doing so. Sadly, given the rampant hooliganism and genuine, borderline-murderous hatred found in many European club rivalries, such a policy actually makes some sense over there.

    • Bob

      If that’s the case, then they need to have much better security in place in order to prevent any such individuals from coming into contact with the players.  If this yahoo had been tackled by security the moment he touched the pitch, the keeper wouldn’t have been required to defend himself in any way.

  • Jrippolitto

    Red card cannot be issued for a foul as a foul requires a number of elements: 1 – on the pitch, 2 – ball in play and 3 – an opponent.  All that remains is violent conduct which appears ludicrous given the circumstances

  • Mageek

    Why didn’t the referee join the goalie at kicking this skinhead who insulted his  authority by storming into his match?

  • Chethammer

    I think he was redcarded because he couldn’t calm down. 

  • Anthony Ramsey

    Wow! The goalie was defending himself. That Ref should be banned for life from officiating!

  • Filo

    I swear I would’ve hit the ref too

  • Filo

    I swear I would’ve hit the ref too

  • Gee726

    That’s rediculous.  Along with the racism and players getting kicked out for letting a crazed fan have it for running out on the field, soccer is seriously emerging as a “b!tch sport” (and I played for well over 25 years).  No player in any other sport would have been kicked out.  If anything, that should serve as an example for other dumb@sses to not run on the field.  The players have no idea what these people have on them or what they’re capable of.

  • Bulldog81

    The idiot fan was probably related to the Referee. I hope this will cost that referee if not his job a demotion and pay cut. Absolutely no common sense. Totally full of himself and his “authority”.

  • Llissel

    I don’t think It was necessary  to keep on kicking him once he was laying on the floor

  • Jim

    How is kicking him while he’s on the ground defending yourself?

  • Delta

    Hopefully the ref didn’t card the guy for defending himself, but for kicking the guy while he was down (not that he didn’t deserve it, but that’s another story).  The appropriate thing to do is to neutralize the threat to yourself/others and wait for security.  The guy was down, and no longer a threat, so the extra shots are professionally unnecessary (again, form a personal perspective, it’s a completely different story).

  • Frass267

    The ref  should have gotten a beatdown form the AZ

  • Lflm2010

    Good for Manager Verbeek – he has respect for his players and will protect them.  I would never allow that particular ref to referee any soccer game – he has no respect for the players nor the game. 

  • Marshmallow

    that ref has a big problam the goalie was just trying to defend himself

  • Ric_motta

    Rules are clear enough on the matter.  The Ref did the right thing.  After the attacker hit the ground, all he had to do was walk away to avoid the penalty.  He wasn’t defending himself when he was standing over a grounded man and kicking him.  Too bad the goalie didn’t get in one good old fashioned WWF boot to the face while the attacker was on his feet and coming forward.

  • Anonymous

    The Red card was absolutely correct.  The fan was on the ground and posed absolutely no danger to anyone, and Alvarado ran to him and kicked him twice.  It was not self defense, it was retaliation.  

  • Realist

    the pussy goalie should have been red carded but not for kicking the faggot but for not kicking him for real. he pussed out just like soccer guys do – fake it!

  • Ref

    The comments posted are very incorrect.  The players should always be professional regardless.  Unless the guy comes at him with a knife or bat, no professional player can or should retaliate like that!  The call was 100% correct.  The keeper did right by pushing the person to the ground and should have walked away.  It’s very obvious the field personnel had reacted quickly and were on the scene quickly.  I’m an experienced referee and an instructor and that behavior will always be a straight red card!  It’s in the laws of the game.  The keeper defended himself when he pushed the spectator to the ground.  However, the second he decided to kick and retaliate, it no longer becomes an issue of defense but violent conduct.  There are no grey lines in this case.  The keeper should be banned for a minimum of 3 games. 

  • Stephen

    How anyone could say the downed fan was “no threat” is asinine?  It was one on one with the goalie and the fan…he should keep kicking until security shows up.  Which is exactly what he did?  Should he wait for him to get up and take another swing or worse yet pull out a knife?  Kudos to the goalie.  You come on to the pitch during the middle of a match and attempt to attack a player then you deserve the beat down that you get.

  • dave

    This is the second red ive seen for this, last year i think it was the english 1st division a player got sent off for tackling a fan to the ground after he invaded the pitch, Fifa states any violent conduct by players is rason for a red card, even if it is against pitch invaders, im left wondering why Cantona didnt get a red for kicking a fan in the face in the stands.. Oh well.. refs suck.. FIFA sucks.. good on AZ goalie should of kept kicking the idiot on the ground. I would not play the game unless the red is rescinded.. F em..

  • Jibustos

    To anyone whom as ever played the game you know that in
    matches like that your blood is pumping and your adrenaline is at its peak. So
    when someone attacks you, you are in full alert mode and full of power. The
    drunk got what he deserved and for kicking him hen he was down, well it’s just
    the adrenaline kicking in and putting you in full defensive mode and animal instinct
    that can be just stopped in an instant. Plus how do you know that fool isn’t
    getting up with a knife in his hand. The ref is a robot following the rules of
    the book and not of the street; he should have put himself in the player’s
    shoes and reacted like a human not a puppet.

  • appass237

    the red card got dismissed. Esteban also pressed charges against the hooligan, who is still locked up.


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