Spectators to be back in Netherlands stadia

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Dutch fans back in the stadiums Image: Feyenoord Rotterdam

The Dutch football association (KNVB) stated on April 6th that onlookers will be greeted back into the stadia fold later this month to watch league matches in the Netherlands.

‘Reuters’ stated that fixtures across the top-flight and second division on the weekend of April 23rd-25th will be allowed restricted crowds, with a capacity set for each matchup by the local authorities.

The Dutch Football Association is the governing body of football in Netherlands. It organizes the main Dutch football leagues, the amateur leagues, the KNVB Cup, and the Dutch men’s and women’s national teams.

The potential top-of-the-table match between the Dutch professional football club based in Amsterdam – Ajax Amsterdam – and the Dutch professional club from Alkmaar – AZ Alkmaar – on April 25th would be allowed to admit 7,500 fans at the 55,500-capacity Johan Cruijff ArenA (Amsterdam), where the Netherlands played Latvia last month in a World Cup qualifier in front of 5,000 spectators involved in a State-sponsored study of crowd behavior around the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 6,500 fans will be allowed to grace the Dutch professional football clubs based in Rotterdam and ArnhemFeyenoord Rotterdam’s clash with Vitesse Arnhem, also on April 25th.

‘Reuters’ quoted KNVB Director Eric Gudde as stating before newsmen, “We are in close contact with the Cabinet about the return of public to the stadiums and taking the opportunities and possibilities that can speed up this process. After the recent experiments, this is a very nice, new step: For the first time we will have spectators in the stands at all matches during a weekend of games.”

Spectators keen to grace the games must submit a negative COVID-19 test taken 24 hours before the match. Fans must stand 1.5 meters apart in the stands.

Fingers are crossed as regards crowds being allowed to continue attending matches through to the last rounds of league games in May but a final decision on the same has not yet been arrived at.

Added Gudde, “The new legal framework for rapid tests should become active in May. With a number of exciting rounds to go, it is realistic that this season will end as we started it – with fans in the stadiums cheering the players on.”

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