Various people threatened over construction of new Feyenoord stadium
Multiple people involved in the construction of a new stadium for the football club Feyenoord have received threats from opponents of the plan. The architect of the stadium, Ard Buijsen, was threatened last Saturday when at least 15 men dressed in black hoodies stood at his doorstep and banged on his doors and windows. Threats were also made against the City Hall in Rotterdam and potential investors.
Feyenoord supporters are strongly divided about the construction plans of a new stadium for the football club, Feyenoord City, in Rotterdam. While supporters of the plan see it as a necessary step for the club, opponents regard it as an over-expensive plan by the municipality.
Feyenoord has not yet finalized the financing for the new complex. In addition to the municipality of Rotterdam, it is also the intention that a group of Rotterdam investors will participate in the plan by buying shares. Their contribution would be estimated at 40 million euros.
Rotterdam's mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb called the threats “very sad and idiotic”. He said, "In a democracy, supporters and opponents can talk to each other. But if representatives of the people cannot make a decision in freedom, because they are afraid that something will happen to them or their family members, then it has gone too far."
The mayor put an end to the meeting of the city council with Feyenoord on Tuesday. He also canceled the consultation talks with the supporters that were planned for this week. "Not everyone involved at the city hall feels free to speak out about decision-making about Feyenoord City," the statement from the municipality of Rotterdam read.
According to Aboutaleb, both the Feyenoord delegation and a number of councillors doubted whether they could feel safe in the city hall. The Rotterdam mayor said that threats were made against the city hall itself at the end of the afternoon on Tuesday.
Most Feyenoord fans said they condemn the actions of the opponent. “We have to get rid of these so-called supporters. They are the syrup that stops progress; The nails in the coffin”, a fan wrote on FR12, one of the largest Feyenoord fan sites.
Another user worried about the consequences the threats will have on the sponsors for Feyenoord. “Crazy isn’t, that large companies and Dutch multimillionaires are not standing in line at our club?”
Some of the investors have considered withdrawing from the plan due to the threats. “We understand the worries the investors have”, a source told Rijnmond. “But if the stadium isn’t built for this reason, it goes against any sense of justice.”