Breda mayor argues for more measures against football violence
Mayor Paul Depla of Breda argued for extra measures to stop violence in and around football stadiums. He is thinking of temporarily closing the parts of a stadium where things go wrong, a (digital) reporting obligation for hooligans with a stadium ban, and a penalty point system with consequences for the license of clubs that do not have safety in order.
Depla will officially make proposals after a Control Group Football and Security meeting, which includes the KNVB, mayors, police, and judiciary. He represents the mayors of the host cities in this consultation. He emphasized that the control group cannot make decisions but thinks it is high time that persistent violent confrontations during football matches ended.
In his view, closing stadium sections should not happen immediately if things happen that are not allowed, such as racist chants, violence, or setting off fireworks. "From a public safety point of view, that is not wise. But two weeks later. If we don't step up now, we normalize behavior that does not belong in football stadiums. And the bad guys become untouchable, and we know who is really in charge in the stadium." According to Depla, exactly how it should be implemented requires research and elaboration.
With the penalty point system, he thinks of a similar model that already applies to clubs that do not have their finances in order. In extreme cases, they can lose their license. Safety should not be the last item. If clubs do not have it in order, there should be consequences."
The duty to report is not entirely new. It has been discussed before. "It's high time that it was finally implemented." The Breda mayor also advocates "dusting of existing instruments" such as a stadium ban along with an area ban, disciplinary measures that the KNVB can impose, and a better look at the organization of matches. "We kind of put ourselves to sleep thinking that things were going well. What is happening in stadiums now is abnormal. We have to make sure that the people who feel untouchable are not in charge."
The KNVB and the Eredivisie CV do not want to respond further to what was discussed in the control group. Both parties will first await the consultation on Tuesday afternoon with Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security, they said.
Reporting by ANP.