‘KNVB is the big loser’

‘KNVB is the big loser’
Leen van Steensel

In cooperation with


NOS Football

Barendrecht does not regret deliberately losing the match against GVVV in the Third Division. The team was penalized by the KNVB with four points deduction. “If we are in this situation a hundred more times, we will do the same thing a hundred times,” trainer and former professional Leen van Steensel told Rijnmond.

Barendrecht had to lose to GVVV to make the playoffs and gave away a 3-1 lead in the last five minutes: 3-4. The striker of the team from Veenendaal was able to walk unhindered towards the goal and score three times.

Barendrecht offers little resistance to GVVV

“This does not deserve the beauty prize,” responded Van Steensel, who played professional soccer with FC Utrecht and Excelsior. “We have quite a few old supporters who ran away. They were angry and disappointed that we let it go this way, because we really played a good game. There is a certain damage for the club in that.”

“But I don’t think you can blame that on us. Just figure out a good way to get three goals against in five minutes. There isn’t one. If we get into this situation a hundred more times, we’ll do the same thing a hundred times.”

Van Steensel received a lot of support from the soccer world. “I’ve had hundreds of messages in the last week and a half, no exaggeration, from trainers, players and board members who were all behind us. Everyone with a little bit of soccer-know-how had done the same thing.”

No support came from rival Sparta Nijkerk. That club felt aggrieved and asked the KNVB for an investigation. “If you screw up like that yourself on the last day against ten Staphorst men, I think you have to keep your distance appropriately,” Van Steensel said. “They created a lot of dust, with the result that they too are finished. Then again, maybe in their shoes we would have done the same thing.”

Excitement with Leen van Steensel

Due to the points deduction Barendrecht drops to number five in the league table. SteDoCo from Hoornaar is the new number three after the verdict of the disciplinary committee of the KNVB. They may now enter the playoffs and remarkably not Sparta Nijkerk.

‘KNVB big loser’

“The club Barendrecht is not the loser here, we as a players’ group and trainers’ staff are not the losers and the other clubs are not the losers either,” Van Steensel said. “The KNVB is the big loser. A donkey does not bump into the same stone twice, so this league does.”

Thereby, Van Steensel refers to a similar case that happened to the North Holland HSV Heiloo in 2018. They too received four points deduction then.

The coach has a solution ready, to prevent it from happening again in the future: “The KNVB must change the rules quickly. Make sure that period titles don’t slip through. Does a period winner already have a period in his pocket? Then give that spot to the team ranked highest in the league.”

“That’s the way it should be. We struggled and fought 34 games. It was a leaden season. This would have been an insanely nice dessert, but we didn’t get it.”

Kayleigh Williams