Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge announced on Monday evening that amateurs and young athletes must also finish their matches behind closed doors for at least three weeks, without an audience on the side. Moreover, the canteens of the sports clubs remain closed and they provide the income.
“There are calls to stop the competition for three or four weeks,” said Mart Vergouwen chairman of second divisionist VV Katwijk. “That would concern all competitions. Then you also have less costs. ” The chairman points out that the measures are taking hold. “Fortunately it is only for three weeks, that’s a ray of hope.”
Chairman Ad Westerhof of the Amsterdam club AFC says he is in consultation with the board members at the club. They also want to talk to the KNVB whether there should be football at all.
“It is a pain for all volunteers and football players, but fortunately we can continue to play football”, Jan Dirk van der Zee, director of amateur football and women’s football at the KNVB, responded via Twitter to the Prime Minister’s announcement. “Hopefully all doors will be open to everyone again in 3 weeks.”
A spokesperson for the KNVB football association says that it is necessary to first look carefully at what specific measures entail. “For youth football, the suffering may be manageable if there is no football, because it is also a holiday. But postponing the competition for three weeks can also get you in a mess, ”he says.
Westlandia chairman Ton van Marrewijk is not in favor of stopping the competition. “I can still imagine it for the first team, but I would argue for the youth to continue playing as much as possible.”
For the lack of income due to the closing of the canteens, the club has to get creative, he says. “The canteen income is one third of our income. If these disappear in the long term, you will go to the ministry. Fortunately we are a healthy association. ”
Sports umbrella NOC * NSF thinks it is good that the sports continue, but points to the difficult times that are dawning for the associations. With the loss of income from the public and canteens, sports clubs will often not be able to work without loss, says NOC * NSF. That is why the sports umbrella wants to discuss quickly which extra support is needed.
“Good for the Netherlands that the sport remains open, both inside and outside. The cabinet has taken understandable measures that now limit our freedom to ensure that we do not lose it further later this year, ”says managing director Gerard Dielessen.
According to the sports umbrella organization, it is very important to keep a close eye on the health of the sports sector. “Difficult times are dawning for associations,” says Dielessen. “A number of income from a sports club is now completely lost because of the ban on the public, the lack of events and the closing of the canteens. This situation could not last long without adequate compensation. We will therefore immediately consult with the government to determine to what extent the third support package is sufficient and what additional support may be needed. ”
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