Four boys kicked out of football club for not selling enough raffle tickets; parents furious


Brabant football club VV Bladella in Bladel expelled four boys from the club because they did not sell enough raffle tickets. The parents of at least three of the boys are furious. And football association KNVB "urged the club to reverse the measure", but Bladella does not intend to make an exception, AD reports.

Each young member of the club is obligated to sell at least 25 euros in raffle tickets for the New Year's lottery. The measure was implemented in an attempt to bring down the club membership fees for parents, VV Bladella Secretary Jac van der Aa said to the newspaper. 243 boys managed to sell 25 euros in tickets. Four boys didn't, even after extensive consultation, Van Aa said. Their membership was therefore suspended until further notice. "We again have a lottery next year, so we really can make no exceptions."

"We have rules and we make no exceptions", Pim Lavrijsen, committee member of Youth Affairs at the club, said to Omroep Brabant. "That would not be fair towards other members and parents." According to him, this rule is also intended to teach young players that they also have to bring their part for membership. And the annual lottery forms an important source of revenue for the club.

Omroep Brabant spoke to the mother of one of the suspended boys. The 10-year-old sold only 10 instead of 25 raffle tickets. The club told mother Maaike Rietveld she had to pay over the other 15 euros, but she refused. She then received a letter saying that her son was expelled from Bladella. "Most parents just pay to avoid a quibble. But I think the club should be happy with every euro. Now it comes down to me as if he committed a serious crime." According to her, the incident left her son headachy and nauseous. She doesn't know whether he will join another club. "Because of this whole thing he doesn't want to play football."

Another mother of two of the boys, who wanted to remain anonymous after hearing that Rietveld was threatened, told newspaper AD that she never had the chance to talk to the club about the raffle tickets. "Because we as parents aren't officially members, we're never allowed to attend the member meetings. So we could never tell them why we did not sell any raffle tickets this year and were not part of the decision making about it." she said. 

The mother simply did not agree with the obligation to sell raffle tickets this year, because the club's fees increased by 35 euros per membership, on a fee of about 100 euros, she said. She refused to pay over the raffle money for her boys, but the club deducted it from her account anyway, according to her ."We then sent a reaction by mail to the board, because we wanted an adult conversation." But that never happened. The next thing she heard was a text message from a coach informing her that her sons were expelled. 

The KNVB contacted the club and asked for an explanation. "Now it turns out that the club has been doing this for some time, but we indicated that we don't find it suitable", spokesperson Koen Adriaanse said to AD. "Boys should be able to just play football instead of selling raffle tickets. That is, after all, why they became a member of the association in the first place. We would like to see the board come together and rethink the decision."

"Of course, everyone needs to play their part in the association, because they run on volunteers. Then we find actions like selling raffle tickets normal", Adriaanse said. "But expelling someone for selling too few tickets, that is really going too far. Those boys probably just want to play football."