Parties and riots following football league playoffs
Thousands of fans gathered to celebrate outside the Goffert Stadium in Nijmegen following the promotion of local football club NEC back to the Eredivisie on Sunday. Several people in Breda were arrested for causing disturbances following the loss, with their team NAC failing to advance. Also in Rotterdam, four people were arrested following riots that broke out after Feyenoord's 2-0 victory against FC Utrecht.
The NEC fans gathered at the stadium right after the surprise last-minute 2-1 victory over NAC. They spent hours waiting for the players' bus. Once it arrived, the players were welcomed with loud cheers on a stage in front of the main entrance built specially for this occasion.
At the alternative event organized by the fans, coronavirus measures were largely disregarded. Nijmegen Mayor Hubert Bruls said there would be no intervention against the fans.
"We will let the supporters remain out in a pleasant way. People are looking for each other anyway. It's just as much for everyone", said Bruls.
Bruls sparked some controversy with the decision, as he is also the chair of the Security Council representing the safety and security needs of all municipalities in the Netherlands. The Security Council has played a key role during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure restrictions are communicated to residents, that those measures are followed, and how they are enforced.
The Municipality of Breda previously said that an official ceremony would not be possible due to the ongoing pandemic if NAC had secured a victory. Around the Rat Verlegh Stadium in Breda, Mobile Unit had to intervene against fans of the defeated NAC. About 2,500 were able to attend the game at the stadium, some of whom later caused trouble.
According to Omroep Brabant, the police had to use batons and shields during confrontations with the fans. The officers were pelted with fences, bicycles, fireworks and glass. Several men were arrested.
The disturbances in Rotterdam started just after Feyenoord secured a place in the second heat of the Europa Conference League with its victory over FC Utrecht. According to the police, the supporters threw stones and fireworks at officers, among other things. Two police horses were injured.
The tactical mobile units used to quell rioting intervened when supporters threw fireworks over fences in front of the stadium. The police officers managed to disperse the fans at around 3:15 p.m.
The police said that more suspects may be arrested on the basis of video footage of the incident.