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Sport

Soccer-'This title is for you': Ajax melt down league trophy for fan souvenirs

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Quarter Final First Leg - Ajax Amsterdam v AS Roma - Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - April 8, 2021 Ajax Amsterdam's Davy Klaassen celebrates scoring their first goal with Antony REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

(Reuters) - Ajax Amsterdam have found an ingenious way to reward their fans for putting up with missing much of a title-winning season, melting down their Eredivisie trophy to give tiny silver stars to more than 42,000 season-ticket holders.

Each star will weigh 3.45g and contain 0.06g from the trophy, which was awarded to Ajax for their 35th league triumph, with the Royal Dutch Football Association giving the club a replica to display in their trophy cabinet.

Ajax said they wanted to share their triumph with their supporters, who were barred from entering games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This season, we have largely had to play without our fans,” general director Edwin van der Sar said. “Well, without them sitting in the stands, at least. Despite this, we have felt their support every week. On the way to the stadium, on social media and in our personal contacts.

“Previously, when we said ‘this title is for you’, we were expressing how we were doing it for the fans however sharing the trophy is the ultimate proof that we really are.’ After a turbulent year, we are ensuring our fans feel part of our championship.”

Ajax were crowned champions following a 4-0 home thrashing of lowly Emmen on May 2. They also won the Dutch Cup.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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