Government plays hardball with hooligans

19th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 April 2005AMSTERDAM — The government wants to force hooligans to pay for damage caused during riots at soccer matches.

19 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — The government wants to force hooligans to pay for damage caused during riots at soccer matches.

This is one of the measures the government wants to introduce following serious rioting involving Amsterdam Ajax and Feyenoord supporters near Rotterdam's De Kuip stadium on Sunday.

The Justice Ministry is examining the feasibility of forcing rioters to pick up the tab for damages.

Interior Minister Johan Remkes on Tuesday condemned the latest rioting. In a letter to Parliament, he said government officials will quickly agree a raft of measures with clubs and the Dutch football association KNVB to deal with hooliganism. He said the problem requires a "decisive, joint answer".

Dutch rail NS has also threatened a travel ban on troublemakers. 

Police arrested 43 supporters during the rioting on Sunday and 10 people are still in custody for public order offences. The rest were dealt with under a fast-track justice system and were issued with fines or a summons.

"The bill society is being presented for these football matches is far too big," Remkes wrote.

Amsterdam fans seriously damaged two trains which were used to transport them to Rotterdam and train travel in and around the port city was seriously disrupted. Apart from the financial damage, Remkes said, society also had to pay for the large number of police used to restore order.

Remkes said that he'd had discussions with mayors about new measures to tackle football hooliganism. Clubs can, for instance, compile passport photographs of supporters, making it easier to identify troublemakers and ban them from stadiums.

He said discussions about proposals had gone on "for many weeks" and now the time had come to implement the measures quickly.

Remkes indicated he would support a proposed ban on away supporters attending matches between Ajax and Feyenoord.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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