There would not have been many people in the Netherlands feeling downbeat after Ajax beat Tottenham 1-0 away in the Champions League last month.
However, for one Dutch footballer, attending the game at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium meant losing his job.
Jordie Van der Laan, a player from the Dutch Second Division team Telstar, had his contract terminated after he called in sick to make the journey to London.
The 25-year-old’s contract was due to end in the summer anyway, but after a meeting between the player and club, it was terminated early as a punishment.
Van der Laan claims that he initially called in sick as his team had nothing to play for in the League, and he would also be unlikely to feature.
However, he eventually fessed up on his plans before making the trip to London, where he was picked up multiple times on TV cameras.
Van der Laan had this to say on the drama (Ijmuider Courant – as quoted by the Daily Mail): “I had a conversation with Piet (Buter, technical director) last Thursday about the situation and in good harmony it was decided to separate.
“I called in sick because I was convinced that I would not be freed from the training.
“With this decision, I took into account that with Telstar we were no longer playing for anything and I, given the number of playing minutes I have had in the recent period, had only a small chance of figuring against Jong PSV.
“In any case, I definitely would not have gone to London.
“However, I still stated before the Champions League match that I was not sick and was in London.
“So it wasn’t that people from the club were surprised to see me on TV. At that moment they were already informed.
“It is still odd that I was seen on the pictures three times with my big head!”
Spurs Web Opinion:
It seems unfortunate that the player has lost his job over the silly decision, but at least it will free him up to watch Ajax’s home leg in peace. Fingers crossed it is an impressive Tottenham away win though!
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