The ‘Football Law’

Hard work is being done in close collaboration with the Dutch government and clubs to make the game as much fun as possible and give all fans who flock to the stadium a safe, secure and enjoyable experience.

In February 2015, the Dutch Parliament voted in favour of tightening regulations designed to curtail football-related disorder. The KNVB welcomes the new ‘Voetbalwet’ or ‘Football Law’, which facilitates enforcement, increasing the chances of offenders being caught. The offender-based approach to hooligans will create more opportunity to the genuine fans to enjoy their football: a game to love, for everyone.

The tighter regulations are a logical and necessary step in tackling notorious troublemakers who spoil the fun for so many real supporters. Hooligans are a tiny minority who make up less than 1% percent of Dutch football crowds, they should be stopped from ruining football for the other 99% .

More is needed

The KNVB is therefore in favour of additional measures to improve the atmosphere in and around stadiums. These should give more room to well-meaning fans, giving them more freedom of movement and a more enjoyable sports experience. The association is in favour of reducing generic security measures such as body searches and ticket sales being restricted to membership club card holders. We would also like to see more away fans in the stadiums and a more flexible mandatory transport scheme for these supporters.

We would rather have more police detectives than a mass of officers in full riot gear

The tighter legislation currently in force bestows far-reaching powers on mayors and prosecutors to control football hooliganism, but provides insufficient measures to strengthen investigative powers.

The KNVB is calling on the government to strengthen police detection and investigation capacity. This will lead to more banning orders and less police deployment at stadiums. We would rather have more police detectives than a mass of officers in full riot gear.

Digital reporting

The new regulations also clear the way for a digital reporting duty for hooligans and public-order offenders. In the current system, these persons have to physically report to local police stations during matches.

The introduction of a digital scheme would significantly reduce checks at stadiums and ease the overall burden on the police force. It would involve fewer freedom and privacy restrictions, which could prompt more judges to impose the measure, as a recent KNVB pilot project has shown. The KNVB has submitted its findings to the government.

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