Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Return of supporters in stadiums is crucial: ‘you run that danger’

On Sunday afternoon, for the first time this year, supporters are welcome at a competition match in the Netherlands. NEC and De Graafschap have the scoop when the two teams compete against each other in the Kitchen Champion Division. ECV director Jan de Jong is happy with the return of supporters and describes them as ‘crucial’.

For a maximum of 1500 people, NEC and De Graafschap can show their skills on Sunday afternoon. It is the first time since the turn of the year that many supporters are present in a football stadium. Finally, says De Jong. “Professional football exists by the grace of paying audiences. So you can imagine that we are happy that we can now look carefully at what the return of fans at football matches means”, he tells the Algemeen Dagblad.

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Initially, the experiment in Nijmegen was to take place earlier, but because the virus was increasing, it was postponed to next Sunday. “This is the beginning of the return to the old normal. We show that football is not part of the problem, but of the solution. By acting as a laboratory, it is ultimately possible to investigate what is possible. And in that respect. we are positive. At the beginning of this season, about a hundred professional matches were played with a limited audience. And not one of those matches resulted in a corona outbreak. “

De Jong states that the return of supporters to the stadium is a crucial thing. “It is necessary for the industry that matches are played in front of full stands again at the start of next season. Otherwise you run the risk that certain supporters and sponsors, partly as a result of the financial crisis that is also the corona crisis, will no longer be played at all. return.”

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