Dutch football club Telstar have sacked their player Jordie van der Laan after he attended the UEFA Champions League semi-final between Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax, having initially told his team that he was sick.
Per Chris Burton of Goal, Van der Laan made the decision to travel to London to watch Ajax against the wishes of his club but was caught on camera. After saying he was ill and then confirming his intention to go to the game, Telstar took the decision to terminate his contract.
Speaking to Ijmuider Courant (h/t Burton), the forward explained his thinking behind the decision:
"Of course I realise that it has been a very awkward situation. 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."
As Burton noted, Van der Laan posted on Twitter asking for a ticket for Wednesday's second leg in Amsterdam, as he would be "free after all" for the game. A journalist has agreed to take him to the match for a round of beer.
Ajax were 1-0 winners on the night, with Donny van de Beek's goal putting them within touching distance of what would be a shock final appearance at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on June 1 (U.S. only):
Telstar play in the second tier of Dutch football and finished their domestic season in 15th position, losing 2-0 to Jong PSV on Friday.
Van der Laan signed for the club from DOVO in August 2018 but only made seven appearances in the Eerste Divisie before his recent departure.