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AMSTERDAM TIMES: Hooligans make the law in this country

In every football country there’s hostility amongst the supporters of the top teams. In Spain you have Barcelona vs. arch nemesis Real Madrid where supporters don’t see an eye to an eye. In the UK there is the animosity between Liverpool vs. Manchester United supporters. In The Netherlands we have Ajax vs. arch nemesis Feyenoord. Ajax has passed his glory days. The club needs a serious transformation from the top down. Feyenoord these days is struggling to remain relevant. Both clubs hardcore supporters are frustrated with their clubs and are resulting to illegal activities outside their club. To the hooligans football is no longer an innocent but competitive sport. To them it is about pride.

Usually when a match has to be played over, it is because of bad weather. Or something tragic would have to occur during the match. But that is not the reason here. In fear of hooligans and their fanaticism the Dutch Football Association (Dutch FA) has decided to play The Dutch Cup 2010 final over two matches. The authority has bowed to the fear that hooligans will grasp the opportunity to cause destruction in the city. It is understandable that public safety should be first priority above anything. But it is unacceptable to cave in to misconduct of a few drunks, coke sniffers, whose intension has obviously nothing to do with the sport. With this deal the Dutch FA, the major and the local authorities are admitting they are not equipped to stop these radicals from demolishing the most popular sport in the country and around the world. And the worst part is, they don’t seem to mind or understand why we are against this shitty deal.

It is obvious that when we say hooligans we are not talking about the true supporters. We are not talking about the mothers, fathers and children who go to the stadiums to witness the glory of their club. We are talking about sport fanatics whose actions have cost clubs a lot of money and severely hurt the club image. We are talking about fanatics who have threatened players and coaches with their lives and don’t know their limit. Today they use internet forums and other technologies to organize their shameful acts. The rivalry between Feyenoord and Ajax has had serious consequences. In the past we have witnessed fierce brawls, wounded supporters and even a casualty. In 1997 a clash at Beverwijk, Ajax hooligan Carlo Picornie lost his life at the hands of Feyenoord hooligans. Even with blood on their hands the misbehaviour will continue. In 2009 the Mayors of Amsterdam and Rotterdam were forced to do something about the hooligans. Supporters of the visiting club were banned and no longer allowed into the stadium.

Seeing the importance of the upcoming match, the Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb wanted to make the finals a festive event where supporters from both teams could attend. Now if it has turned out that the hooligans can’t behave, to my knowledge it makes sense to go back to the business as usual. Which only grants the home supporters access to the stadium? If a criminal violates his parole, he will have to go back to prison and finish his sentence, so why are we talking about meeting the hooligans in the middle? Beat me, I don’t get it. Or maybe I do get it: Money, money, moneyyyy. The Dutch FA and associates want to get all the money they can get out of the finals. Playing the Cup in two finals equals more money. Forget the sport, let’s make money. This is what happens when you put the wrong people in charge of something so beautiful.

This is really absurd and as a fan and former footballer I’m really ashamed to see this taken place. The Dutch justice system has proving once again that it has no authority against his native white disobedient. I call it how it is, because in 2007, Morocco played a friendly match in The Netherlands. During the football match a disorder erupt amongst the Moroccan supporters. A group of Moroccans started vandalism inside and around the stadium. It was front page news and politicians were all over it. Some politicians called for tougher measures against the young Moroccans. Right wing politician Wilders even went as far as saying the police should have open fire on the hooligans. Yet Dutch hooligans have been disgracing the sport for decades and it has become the exception of the rule. There is a law in the cabinet, it has been there for a year and no one is looking at it. Today Wilders and other politicians are silenced, but this is public disobedient. They need to apply the same criticism and the same punishment as they once proposed to deal with immigrant hooligans.

My advice to the Dutch FA will be: allow only families into the stadiums and makes it a family event. I think if you allow only couples and families it will ease the tension. With someone wife and children, sister and mother being present, I think people will be forced to behave. The Dutch FA should not cave in but at the same time the average supporter should not be punished or restricted by the actions of individuals. Football is very alive and beautiful when supporters of both teams are present to cheer their club. Don’t let the spirit die.

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