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Ajax's Steven Berghuis apologizes after punching a fan

Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Steven Berghuis has apologized after he appeared to strike a fan following their 3-1 loss at FC Twente on Sunday that ended their dire season on a low note.

In a video circulating on social media, Berghuis is seen lashing out at what appears to be a Twente supporter in front of the Ajax team bus before an official intervened.

"I regret my actions, I should not have done this," the 31-year-old Berghuis said in a statement. "After every away game, we get a lot of threats thrown at us at the bus while we take time out to sign autographs for fans. I'm used to it by now, but people think they can just shout anything. My reaction doesn't solve anything, I get that. It's not good, I have an exemplary role as a player of Ajax."

The Dutch international joined Ajax from Feyenoord at the start of the 2021-22 season in a move that caused controversy in the Netherlands due to the intense rivalry between the clubs.

Ajax finished the current campaign in third place in the Eredivisie, outside the two Champions League qualification spots for the first time since 2009. League champions Feyenoord, who finished 13 points ahead of Ajax, have qualified for the group stage, while second-placed PSV Eindhoven will play in the third qualifying round of Europe's elite club competition.

Ajax qualified for the Europa League playoff round.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk and Nick Said in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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