Feyenoord will raise nets around all four sides of the field for protection this season
Feyenoord will use netting to screen off the field in De Kuip stadium on all four sides until at least the end of the current season. The netting will already be erected on all sides ahead of Feyenoord - RKC at 8 p.m. on Sunday in Rotterdam.
"The club is being forced to take this drastic measure due to the announcement of new, strict protocols in the field of playing safety, which were communicated by the KNVB yesterday and are effective immediately," said the Eredivisie's points leader. The measure was announced by the Dutch football association in response to Wednesday's violence during the Feyenoord - Ajax semifinal match in the Dutch Cup. Ajax player Davy Klaassen was hit in the head by an object, presumably a lighter, in the Feyenoord stadium. The match was suspended for 30 minutes as he bled from the head wound.
"The new regulations from the KNVB dictate that repeated misbehavior from the public, such as throwing objects, can lead to the permanent cessation of matches. With this in mind, Feyenoord does not want to take any risks, especially given the great sporting interests that are there for the club in the national competition," said Feyenoord.
"It is a fact that this will have an impact," said a spokesperson for ESPN about Feyenoord's decision. "That applies to the people in the stadium, who have to look at the nets and posts, but I think it's inevitable that you will also see that on television. The decision has a major impact on our operation, so we will have to get moving and act quickly. And that's what we're going to do." The television channel has broadcast rights for Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie matches this year and the next two seasons, and has offered 1.7 billion euros for the following ten years.
Feyenoord will play four more times at home in the Eredivisie, with matches in De Kuip against RKC, FC Utrecht, Go Ahead Eagles and Vitesse. The Rotterdam team has an 8 point lead over their competitors in the Eredivisie.
The Rotterdam team is also still active in the Europa League, with upcoming matches against AS Roma in the quarterfinals.
Reporting by ANP