Dutch PM meeting KNVB to discuss racism in football; more cameras, stadium bans expected

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is meeting with football association KNVB on Thursday to discuss how to tackle racism on and along the fields. The government is expected to propose more cameras, to make it easier to recognize supporters who misbehave. The KNVB will likely impose longer stadium bans on misbehaving supporters, sources told NOS.

Rutte and Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security are meeting with the KNVB and other parties involved following racist incidents at football matches over the past weeks. During a match between FC Den Bosch and Excelsior on November 18th, jungle noises and Zwarte Piet songs came from the stands each time Excelsior player Ahmad Mendes Moreira had the ball. Similar incidents happened during matches between VV Emmen and JOS Watergraafsmeer and between Arnhem's Eldenia and Utrecht's Sporting '70 over the weekend.

The government wants to increase the chance of being caught after shouting racist slurs or misbehaving in other ways at football matches. They will therefore propose installing more smart cameras, which can recognize or follow people for example, at stadiums. In a debate earlier this week the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, said that not enough is being done to criminally prosecute those guilty of racism in stadiums.

The KNVB will increase the maximum duration of a stadium ban from the current five years to 10 years. The football association will also remind clubs to use the already existing system with which clubs can exchange the names of risky supporters with each other, according to the broadcaster.

Minister Bruno Bruins for Medical Care and Sports is also working on a campaign focused on racism in sports. He wants Excelsior player Mendes Moreira to be one of the figureheads for that. During the meeting on Thursday it should become clear whether Mendes Moreira wants to do it.