Feyenoord thugs routinely fight Liege fans in forest meet ups
Football hooligans arrange to fight each other in the countryside or forested areas on a regular basis, Nieuwsuur reported on Sunday. Hardcore fans of, among others, Feyenoord, Fortuna Sittard and Standard Liege held dozens of these free-fights in recent years, according to the news program.
Due to increasing security at football stadiums, hooligans are increasingly opting for secluded areas in nature to have their fights. "Minimal risk of detection, maximum confrontation", is their motto.
According to Nieuwsuur, the football hooligans themselves don't like to talk about these fights. But they don't deny them either.
Frank Paauw, the Rotterdam police chief responsible for the football portfolio in the Council of Corps Chiefs, is aware of these fights. He is concerned that the number of fights will only increase. "You can also see this as a form of training." he said on Nieuwsuur. "A trained group that is able to fight in a group with a command structure is much harder for us to tackle than an unorganized group."
Jan Derksen, professor of clinical psychology at Radboud University Nijmegen, sees it differently. He feels the free fights are a good outlet. "Here you have men who need to give their primary nature a chance." he said. "Such a pasture where they bother nobody or destroy nothing, is actually a very good solution." As long as there are strict rules - no under 18's, no weapons and hospital bill paid out of own pocket - this is a good solution, he feels.