Netherlands ‘no’ to fans as COVID see-saw on

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Netherlands no fans for 3 weeks Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

League football resumed in Netherlands in September with 15 to 35 percent of the stadium available for spectators but with no away supporters allowed.

However, with coronavirus spreading its tentacles again in Europe, and Netherlands witnessing a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases once more, the Government has again decided to bring in stringent coronavirus rules in Netherlands and crack the whip on those who flout the same. This means fans will again not be allowed in Germany’s neighboring country in stadia both for amateur and professional sports for the next three weeks. Restaurants and pubs will also have to close dot at 10:00 pm.

With fans no longer to be allowed into venues means that up to 11,948 fans who watched live the first three game days of the Eredivisie in the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam will no longer be able to do so.

The Eredivisie is the highest level of professional football in the Netherlands. The league was founded in 1956, two years after the start of professional football in the Netherlands. As of the 2019-20 seasons, it has been ranked the ninth best league in Europe by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The Eredivisie comprises 18 clubs.

Johan Cruijff ArenA is the main stadium of the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam in Netherlands and the home stadium of football club AFC Ajax since its opening. Built from 1993 to 1996 at a cost equivalent to €140 million, it is the largest stadium in the country and can hold up to 54,990 spectators.

Henk Markerink, CEO, Johan Cruijff ArenA, Netherlands, is a Member of Coliseum Strategic Committee.

As per media reports, 13,471 fresh COVID-19 cases were registered in the Netherlands last week. It is due to this reason that Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte announced that new rules – looking into the grim COVID-19 situation in the country – will come into effect from September 30th.

Rutte said that tough intervention is the need of the hour as there has been a rapid rise in coronavirus cases again and there lies the risk of the deadly virus spreading in a big way.

The Prime Minister said that the stringent coronavirus rules which have come into effect will start showing the “results” within 10 to 14 days and then it can be gauged how much the rigid rules are helping to combat the fatal virus.

Rutt further stated that if the tough COVID-19 rules do not show the desired results, then the whip will have to be cracked with more intensity. This will mean more financial losses for the Dutch clubs who are already burning a huge hole in their pockets.

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