Football clubs considering fingerprint scanner to enter stadiums to keep hooligans out
The Dutch football association KNVB and the Ministry of Justice and Security are considering using fingerprint scanners at football stadiums’ entrances to keep hooligans out. The police unions already support the idea, the Telegraaf reports.
Dutch football matches have been plagued by incidents this season. Recently, AZ supporters attacked fans of visiting West Ham United after losing against the English club and getting eliminated from the Conference League.
The idea for the fingerprint scanners came from Gerard van Hoeven, who has a company specializing in communication equipment, among other things. The plan involves linking supporters’ fingerprints to their admission tickets. That can be changed up to a day before the match. “Only hooligans with a stadium ban cannot enter because their fingerprint is linked to the police database. The entrance gate will not open for them,” Van Hoeven explained.
“It can be implemented quickly because the technology is already there. Look at your smartphone, which you already operate in that way. Moreover, every stadium already has turnstiles that can be made suitable with a simple adjustment,” said Van Hoeven.
Jan Struijs of the police union NPB is enthusiastic about the plan. “It is high time that the KNVB invested in safety, and that is certainly possible with personalized admission tickets. Because the way it is now, really can’t go on. A small club ruins it for a large group of supporters. Use the technology we have. It may be a matter of money, but it has to be done.”
Wim Groeneweg, chairman of the police union ACP: “Privacy is important, but if this is a viable path, we should take it as far as I’m concerned. In this well-thought-out plan, the interests of the football clubs, safety, and supporters have been taken into account. This could be close to the solution.” He hopes the model will soon be tested in a pilot. “It does require technical development in stadiums, but if this is possible, it is worth the investment.”
The Ministry of Justice and Security is considering the proposal, as is the KNVB. “We are very much in favor of a digital reporting obligation, and this application of fingerprints can also be a solution to curb fan violence,” a spokesperson for the football association told the Telegraaf. “But I can’t comment on the content yet because it’s too premature. It should be clear that we will seriously study all initiatives to keep violence out of the stadiums.”