The measure is part of a package of measures that the cabinet announced on Monday in an attempt to reduce the spread of the corona virus. The measures will apply until Tuesday 20 October and will then be reviewed. For the Eredivisie it concerns two rounds of play due to an intermediate international weekend, in the first division it concerns three rounds of play.
“We understand the need to reduce the number of infections,” says Matthijs Keuning, chairman of the Supporters Collective Netherlands.
“It also increases the chance that people in groups will look elsewhere”
“We do, however, question this measure and lack perspective, especially since this crisis will last longer than the three weeks to which the current measures apply. In football, we had just found a way to responsibly admit a limited number of supporters, while doing research on how to build that up. We hope to be able to resume this soon. ”
Supporters were neatly separated last weekend during the Eredivisie match between Heracles Almelo and PSV Eindhoven.
“This is a blow to football and to anyone who has made efforts to make stadiums a safe environment. This makes the financial situation of clubs even more worrisome. It also increases the chance that people will look elsewhere in groups, while a safe environment has been created in the stadium. The research by the KNVB and clubs into the risk of transmission of the virus at outdoor events is also brought to a standstill, while this is so essential for society as a whole, if we want to find a viable way to deal with the virus. ”
Supporters collective is the umbrella organization of all supporters associations of the professional football clubs in the Netherlands.
Chairman Remco Ravenhorst of the supporters’ association of Feyenoord had looked forward to the Rotterdam derby against Sparta on 18 October in De Kuip. “But now I have to watch it on television, at home and alone,” says Ravenhorst. “Next Sunday we will first play against Willem II. I thought: shall we ask the mayor of Tilburg if we can watch the game there on a square in his city? But I don’t think he likes that. ”
An image from around the match Feyenoord-ADO Den Haag last weekend.
Ravenhorst, chairman of FSV De Feijenoorder, has mixed feelings about the government’s decision to keep the football stadiums closed to the public for three weeks. “No matter how difficult it is, health always comes first. And after that comes a thick point. We all think so. But at the same time there is also the feeling that we at Feyenoord had just taken a step with the groundbreaking research by our club doctor Casper van Eijck. He researches the actual impact of outdoor football with the audience. There is currently no demonstrable link between attending football matches and the increasing numbers of corona infections. ”
“Very unfortunate that the investigation is now temporarily halted”
Van Eijck’s research has now come to a standstill. “And that is very frustrating,” said Ravenhorst, who voluntarily underwent a corona test in De Kuip on Sunday prior to the home game against ADO Den Haag. “The testing was now only intended for employees of the club and the stadium, but I also wanted to participate, so that I could answer questions from the supporters about it properly. It is nice to be able to give something back to society from football. Very unfortunate that the investigation is now temporarily stopping. ”
The supporters of Feyenoord did not adhere to the corona rules very well in the first home game of the season against FC Twente, which they were faced with warnings from Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “As supporters, we just had the taste. It took some getting used to against FC Twente and not everything went well, against ADO it went a lot better. Everyone now knows how it works and what is and is not allowed. Hopefully we can return to De Kuip soon. ”
Fabian Nagtzaam says he is sick of it. But the chairman of the Ajax supporters’ association understands that the cabinet has decided that no fans are welcome at sports matches for the next three weeks. Not even in duels of his Ajax.
“That is very sour,” he says. “And I mean all those people who have worked so hard to make our two home matches of this season go well with less crowd. But also for all our fans who want to go to the Johan Cruijff ArenA so badly, even if the atmosphere is different from before the corona crisis. ”
“‘Very sad for all those people who have worked so hard'”
“But we do understand the need for this measure,” Nagtzaam continues. “Prime Minister Rutte was again very clear at the press conference. Just like with ‘shut up’, and we like that. Only football is affected again, just like the other branches of sport. ”
“But everyone’s health is always paramount,” says Nagtzaam. „I also called in the spring that Ajax fans from Brabant should not come to the Johan Cruijff ArenA because there was a fire there at the time. And now, unfortunately, it is again necessary to take measures. Hopefully it will stay at three weeks and then immediately start again with the same numbers as the last home matches, when about 12,000 fans were welcome.
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