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Dutch FA probes 'dangerous' crowding claims

Northern Ireland’s supporters chief Gary McAllister says conditions for away fans attending their match in the Netherlands were “dangerous” and believes the situation could have become “much more serious”.

Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong’s stoppage-time goals condemned Northern Ireland to a 3-1 defeat in Feyenoord’s De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam on Thursday night, leaving their hopes of Euro 2020 qualification in jeopardy.

Many of the travelling Northern Ireland fans missed much of the first half due to crowding issues in the away end and McAllister has criticised the organisation and stewarding.

McAllister, chairman of The Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs, has issued a statement which says: “The scenes outside the stadium on Thursday night were not only chaotic, they were dangerous and had the potential to become much more serious.

“Fans were directed to the wrong entrance by stewards who appeared ill-informed. After queuing for some time, they were then sent to another set of turnstiles at a different part of the stadium.

“This led to several hundred fans being crowded into a confined area, which caused considerable anxiety.

“There were also issues with the scanning of tickets, which added to the problem. This was not a case of fans arriving late at the stadium, as many people were there more than an hour before kick-off.

“I have contacted the Irish Football Association and asked that an official complaint is made to the KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Federation). We will also be working with our colleagues in the Football Supporters Europe network to raise the issue with UEFA.”

De Kuip has been Feyenoord’s home since 1937 but will be converted into an athletics stadium when the Dutch club move into a new ground, which is planned for completion in 2022.

Sky Sports News has contacted the KNVB for a response.

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