Clubs in professional football have to do without an audience in the stadiums until at least January 25.
The cabinet announced a number of relaxation of the corona measures on Friday evening, but the ban on the public at sports competitions and professional football will remain in place for the time being.
A new weighing moment from the cabinet will follow on 25 January. The ban on spectators means that the top match in the Eredivisie between PSV and Ajax will be completed without fans on Sunday 23 January. In December that was also the case at Feyenoord-Ajax in Rotterdam.
“It feels very unfair,” Prime Minister Rutte said immediately at the start of the press conference about the corona measures. In addition to the lack of the public in professional football, the catering industry, the cultural sector and the events sector will also remain locked.
“The support packages for the affected sectors will remain in force throughout the first quarter,” said Rutte. The Prime Minister stated that at the weigh-in moment on January 25, the catering industry, museums, cinemas and theaters will be carefully considered.
‘Stadiums open demonstratively’
The clubs in professional football are now fed up with the decision-making process in The Hague. They want the spectators back in the stadiums from January 28. That promise has not yet been made.
“We can no longer play without an audience. Last season this led to a loss of more than 100 million euros for the sector. The pace of decision-making in political The Hague is too slow. The demonstrative opening of the stadiums is the inevitable next step “, the Eredivisie CV and the Kitchen Champion Division said in a statement.
The clubs indicate in the statement that they will first talk to the mayor of the host city before opening the stadiums.
“Professional football wants to be heard. We always want to adopt a constructive attitude and be and remain part of the solution. Also now. Also with The Hague and the new Minister of Sports. We have always been very accommodating and cooperative, but the stretch is out.”
The cabinet also had good news for the sports sector. From Saturday 15 January, sports will be allowed again at the clubs, both outside and inside. This can then be done at any time of the day.
Mutual duels within the sports clubs are allowed again. No public is allowed yet. For indoor sports, a QR code (corona ticket) is mandatory from eighteen years old.
KNVB football association wants to see perspective from the cabinet. The largest sports association in the Netherlands thinks it is a right decision that sports are again possible for everyone. “Sports stimulate health and mental and physical resistance. And that is much needed during a pandemic,” says the KNVB.
The KNVB will further map out the scenarios for the continuation of the amateur competitions. “We will come back to that after the next weighing moment from the cabinet,” the union writes.
Spectators along the line and in the stadiums
According to the football association, the next step of the cabinet should be that spectators are allowed again along the line and in the stadiums. “That perspective is now missing, while from a financial point of view the clubs have been completely exhausted. Football has been played in front of empty stands for two months and it cannot continue like this. There are no arguments to open the stadiums in a controlled manner.”