Away fans banned from Anderlecht-Standard games until end of 24-25 season
Matches between Anderlecht and Standard Liège will be played without visiting fans at least until the end of the 2024-2025 season, the two clubs announced in a joint statement on Monday. The decision follows repeated violent incidents between fans that have led to matches being abandoned.
Over the last six years, the fixture, known as the Clasico, has been interrupted on four occasions. In two cases, during the 2019 play-offs at Anderlecht and during the regular season in October 2022 at Standard, the match was not restarted.
The latest incident happened in Thursday’s Belgian Cup clash at Anderlecht, which the home side won 2-0. As a result of the crowd trouble, Standard fans were not allowed to attend the league match that took place three days later.
"Despite elaborate security measures, the Clasico has ended in violent clashes and significant material damage"
“What should have been one of the great moments in Belgian football has often proved to be a disillusionment for fans in recent years,” the clubs said in their statement.
“Despite elaborate security measures, the Clasico has ended in violent clashes and significant material damage. The Clasico, which for the majority of fans is based on a healthy rivalry, has degenerated four times in the last six years because of a small group of supporters on both sides. That’s why the two clubs have agreed to a period of reflection.”
At least until the end of the 2024-2025 season, no away fans will be allowed to attend matches between the two clubs, who “deeply regret this decision and are aware that it will also affect some of the most well-intentioned and loyal supporters, but they want to send a strong signal that violence has no place in and around a football stadium.”
Last Thursday, in the last 16 of the Belgian Cup, fans hurled missiles at each other around the 85th minute, forcing the referee to stop the match. Standard fans broke several seats and threw them towards the home supporters. One or more pyrotechnic devices were also thrown. The match was suspended for several minutes before being restarted.
Standard have already been fined 25,000 euros by the Pro League for these incidents. The Belgian Union could also impose sanctions on the clubs, who both face the threat of playing matches behind closed doors.
Supporters during the Belgian Cup match between Anderlecht and Standard, 7 December 2023 © BELGA PHOTO VIRGINIE LEFOUR