Until October 20thAll amateur and professional matches in the Netherlands will be without an audience for the next three weeks. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced this tonight at the press conference about the new measures to reduce the number of corona infections. The measures apply for the time being until Tuesday 20 October.
The new measures will be in force for at least three weeks and will then be evaluated. “It’s not that the sector is doing badly,” said Prime Minister Mark Rutte about the sports industry. “But we have not been able to reduce the virus sufficiently. All players, pros and amateurs, and spectators lead to a lot of travel movements and social contacts. We can continue to play sports, but without any encouragement from the side and the stands. The sports canteens will be closed. ”
Professional football clubs were allowed to allow a limited number of spectators again in the first matches of the new season. The fans were urged to keep their distance and not to sympathize too emphatically. In general, that worked very well, apart from a few incidents.
Keeping out all spectators is a new blow to professional football, which also had to miss a lot of income last season because the competitions were cut short. Ajax, the club with the largest stadium, lost a maximum of 3 million euros in income in the first two home matches of the competition because only 12,000 fans were welcome, according to general manager Edwin van der Sar.
Other sports have also benefited from the income of paying spectators in recent weeks. Amateur clubs saw the income from their canteens increase again because fans were once again welcome at matches of senior and youth teams.
Supporters collective is questioning
We understand the need to reduce the number of infections, ”says Matthijs Keuning, chairman of the Supporters Collective Netherlands. “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. ”
“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. ”
The fourth round of play is scheduled for next weekend in the premier league. After that, that competition will be stopped for two weeks due to international football. In the Kitchen Champion Division they will continue to play football when the Dutch national team and other national teams come into action. The competitions for senior and youth teams will also continue in the coming weeks in other sports.
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