Alcohol ban can solve problems surrounding Dutch football hooliganism

29 September 2023

An alcohol ban could be a solution to football hooliganism in the Netherlands. This was written by consultancy firm Berenschot in an advice on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and Security.

Berenschot has mainly explored the policy measures taken in England. There it is not allowed to drink in the stands. However, it is permitted in the corridors and at the catering points. Berenschot concludes that this approach can also be useful in the Netherlands.

Strict action is taken against drunkenness in and around the stadium. Supporters are reminded that consuming drinks 'behind the line' (between corridor and stand) is considered a criminal offense. It is therefore impossible to take cups to the stands and throw them on the field. However, this does not mean that there are no incidents, such as throwing other objects, such as lighters.

Around high-risk competitions in England, it is even possible for the authorities to impose a total alcohol ban, such as in local pubs and during bus rides.

Football Supporters Netherlands, a partnership of supporters' associations, does not like an alcohol ban because "it is a measure that affects the atmosphere around matches", just like the abolition of standing areas, one of the other solutions proposed to combat football hooliganism. "The standing areas are important for the atmosphere and most supporters drink at most a few beers. That doesn't hurt at all."

The KNVB (Royal Netherlands Football Association) said in a response that it does not believe that the solution lies in one measure. The football association attaches particular importance to a joint approach by all parties involved: KNVB, leagues, clubs, cabinet, municipalities, Public Prosecution Service, police and supporters.

Sources: en

voetbalbeleid---rapport-berenschot.pdfvoetbalbeleid---rapport-berenschot.pdf (912 kB)


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