‘Misbehaving away supporters not welcome at next away game’

‘Misbehaving away supporters not welcome at next away game’
Uitsupporters of Cambuur. Illustrative photo.

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If it were up to Amsterdam police chief Frank Paauw, away supporters who misbehave would not be welcome at their club’s next away match. “Now it is so that the consequences are only felt a season later during the same match,” Paauw said in De Telegraaf.

Paauw, responsible within the National Police for soccer violence and hooligans, wants to tackle misbehavior in stadiums with this new measure. He advocates a bonus-malus system for supporters, rewarding good behavior and punishing misbehavior.

“That means the knobs can be turned. If away supporters behave then the regime can be relaxed and, for example, free travel can be allowed. The moment fans do not behave then a bus combi can be introduced and, for example, the ticket is not transferable.”

Many problems in the stadiums

Last weekend, an underage FC Groningen fan suspected of hitting soccer player Jetro Willems during the match was arrested. A new low, says Paauw.

“The young generation of hooligans does not abide by the code of never touching their own players. In the past there was at most occasional threatening or cursing. It seems that the young addition is more difficult to control,” Paauw said.

‘Catching up on information backlog’

The Netherlands has had a new soccer law for several years. This law states, among other things, that there is a reporting obligation for people with a stadium ban. Yet it regularly appears that people with such a stadium ban can attend a match.

In the newspaper, Paauw acknowledges that the police have fallen behind in collecting information about misbehavior in and around the stadium due to the corona pandemic. According to him, it takes time to bring new hooligans into the picture.

Paauw also believes that clubs themselves should take more responsibility for stadium security. “We are not going to deploy capacity if clubs themselves do not have the security concept in order,” he said.

Kayleigh Williams