Amsterdam mayor wants Sunderland ban

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Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen wants to ban Sunderland from the Amsterdam Tournament later this month because he fears clashes between Black Cats fans and Newcastle supporters.

Sunderland have been invited to play in the prestigious pre-season tournament - along with Benfica, Atletico Madrid and hosts Ajax - on July 24 and 26 and fans have already snapped up 4,000 tickets.

But with north-east rivals Newcastle also playing in Holland at nearby Utrecht on July 26, the Football Association have told their Dutch counterparts, the KNVB, they are worried about trouble. Utrecht is around 30 miles from Amsterdam.

"It is out of the question that both clubs can play at the same time," Cohen told Dutch daily De Telegraaf.

"Talks with the municipal authorities and the club Utrecht have not ended in a result and I don't want to take any risks.

"It's not for nothing that we have been warned by the English FA.

"I understand that such a measure has far-reaching consequences for Ajax's traditional tournament but the safety of the city is the first priority."

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