Curfew will not affect starting times of football matches
Football union KNVB announced that the 9:00 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. curfew implemented in the Netherlands from Saturday will not affect football matches' kick off times. The government let sports unions decide what to do about the curfew, and KNVB opted to let scheduled matches go through as planned, NOS reports.
The KNVB argued that professional football matches have a positive impact on people's moods. “You are amusing many people that are stuck at home. Who are you making happy with a mid-day match?” a spokesperson for the KNVB said to NOS. “You are also inspiring the youth to continue exercising despite the coronavirus restrictions, which has a positive impact on overall health both short- and long-term."
Ten million Dutch people follow matches of the Eredivisie, Keuken Kampioen Divisie and the Women’s Eredivise, according to the broadcaster.
For months now, matches have been taking place in virtually empty stadiums. Only stewards, the media and some children were allowed to view the match in real life. So playing during curfew won't result in people streaming to stadiums.
The KNVB is within its rights to let matches still happen at night, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health said to the broadcaster. “The employers themselves decide if it is necessary for their employees to be on the street past 9:00 p.m. If it is, then the employer has to provide them with a statement of employment. Therefore, in this case, it is up to the football clubs and the KNVB”, the spokesperson said.