EXCLUSIVE: Dutch club AZ Alkmaar say spoilsport steward was RIGHT to confiscate and bin tearful young fan’s banner asking for Aston Villa star Moussa Diaby’s shirt… but reveal his role in making amends
- Due to a new rule in Dutch football, banners asking for players’ shirts are banned
- AZ Alkmaar 1-4 Aston Villa: Unai Emery’s side run riot in Holland with brilliant win
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
- Do you know the fan in the video? Email [email protected]
AZ Alkmaar have revealed that their steward was right to confiscate and discard a tearful Aston Villa fan’s sign asking for Moussa Diaby’s shirt – according to their stadium rules.
Before Villa played AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League, a young fan hung a beautifully hand-crafted sign near to the touchline asking for the French winger’s shirt.
However, due to a new rule in Dutch football where stadiums have banned fans from bringing in signs asking players for shirts, a steward walked over to the boy and took the banner away.
Speaking to Mail Sport, AZ Alkmaar confirmed that the steward was following the right protocol to take away the banner.
But, the club also said the same individual then asked Aston Villa whether Diaby could meet the young boy after the game to give him his shirt – which he did.
The young fan’s brilliant home-made banner was put near to the touchline asking for his shirt
However, due to a new rule in Dutch football, the steward took the banner and threw it away
Fans across social media branded the steward’s treatment of the banner as completely ‘unnecessary’.
One person wrote on X: ‘All the hours this kid have spent making it, looking forward and having his hopes up, brought the sign and then some man throw it in the bin.’
Another added: ‘That’s unnecessary from the stewards to throw it in the bin.’
However, AZ Alkmaar have revealed the steward more than made up for himself after he made sure the young fan got his hero’s shirt.
Footage shows the young boy with a beaming smile as the French player hugs and offers him his shirt at full-time. The pair then smile and pose for a picture.
After the video of the boy with Diaby was posted, fans were delighted as one said : ‘Love this!’ Another also added: ‘Brilliant! Well done Villa.’
Diaby has endeared himself to supporters since his summer switch from Bayer Leverkusen with his brilliant play on-the-field and this on the field will only do so further.
To add to Villa fans’ joy, their side enjoyed a remarkable result on Thursday night against the Dutch team as they won 4-1 to go second in their group.
However, the young fan’s night was not all bad as he finally got to meet Moussa Diaby
The Aston Villa attacker made sure the fan’s night wasn’t ruined after their excellent 4-1 win
Ollie Watkins continued his red-hot form for Villa in a statement Europa Conference League in the Netherlands.
The striker netted his 10th goal of the season and fourth in Europe this season on Thursday.
Leon Bailey and Youri Tielemans – his first for Villa – put them in control in AZ Stadium after less than 25 minutes.
Vangelis Pavlidis wasted the hosts’ best chances but Watkins and John McGinn added more goals after the break in Holland before Ibrahim Sadiq grabbed a consolation.
It was the second time in two games Villa had scored four after their 4-1 Premier League win over West Ham on Sunday.
Unai Emery celebrated a year in charge on Tuesday and victory underlined the progress his side have made, having been floundering in 14th and three points above the relegation zone 12 months ago.
Villa host Alkmaar in two weeks knowing victory would see them take a giant leap to the knock-out stages, especially following an opening 3-2 defeat at Legia Warsaw in September.
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