Risky football matches should be played in empty stadiums: police union
Police union ACP wants to ban all spectators from high-risk football matches. Play these football matches in empty stadiums. The number of incidents in Dutch professional football is increasing, so a tougher approach is needed against hooligans, ACP chairman Wim Groeneweg said to NU.nl.
“The police are already under heavy pressure, and this kind of idiotic behavior only increases the pressure,” Groeneweg said the day after supporters set off heavy fireworks and threw a lighter at Ajax player Davy Klaassen’s head during a match against Feyenoord in De Kuip in Rotterdam.
“If football matches like this become a habit, the good supporters will have to suffer under the bad. That means that in our opinion - in order to keep the police capacity a bit manageable - in some cases, we should no longer allow away supporters in,” Groeneweg said.
In exceptional cases, the stadium should be completely empty, he said. “A risk analysis must be made per match. And if that analysis with the police chief and Public Prosecution Service shows that there are a lot of risks, we must be able to ensure that there are no supporters at all at those matches. That is apparently the only thing that works with these guys.”
The current agreements between football clubs and the KNVB are insufficient, Groenewg said. “Mainly because those agreements cannot be complied with. Look at the United Kingdom; they have made strict agreements there. The difference with the Netherlands is that the agreements are also complied with there.”
Groeneweg wants the permit system reconsidered. “A continuous event permit has now been issued. Football matches are paid for by the municipality. I think there should not be a continuous permit but that a permit should be issued per match. This way, the mayor can make an assessment per match. If all goes well, the reward may be a longer permit. But in the first instance, I would say in a large number of cases that an event permit must be issued per match.”
According to the police union, that would force football clubs to consider the measures they’re taking in relation to the actual situation. “And then it becomes clear who should take what responsibility. Because now it is all automatically placed on the police’s plate. That is much too easy, and that is not possible.”