Country Profile - Netherlands
Population: 17,337,403 inhabitants
Date of accession to the Council of Europe: 1949
Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events, 2016
Date of Signature: 03/07/2016
Date of Ratification: 06/02/2020
Date of entry into force: 01/04/2020
Presentation of the country's main government and sports institutions:
- Ministry of Youth and Sport: Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport | Rijksoverheid.nl
- Ministry of Justice: Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid | Rijksoverheid.nl
Independent sports safety bodies:
Audit committee on football safety and security: Auditteam Voetbal en Veiligheid | Contact | Rijksoverheid.nl
Main Sports/ Sport Activities
Major Sports Events
Last major sports events organised since 2000 and key elements of their legacy:
- Start Tour de France in Rotterdam (2010) and Utrecht (2015), cycling
- Euro 2020 in Amsterdam (2021), football
- Women’s European championship 2017, football
- World Championships BMX 2021
Future major sports events organised and/or co-organised within the next 5 years:
- Vuelta start in 2022, cycling
- World Championship Sailing in 2023
The country's main sports competitions
National supporter organisations or National team supporter organisations:
Supporterscollectief Nederland (with connections to SD Europe)
National legal framework on sports safety and security, including specific legal provisions on:
List of main laws and regulations
The Dutch Criminal Code is in place for numerous facts like racism, discrimination, violence, theft and so on. On top of the Criminal Code a special law regarding football was developed. This Football Hooliganism and Serious Public Nuisance (Measures) Act, also referred to as the 'Nuisance Act' or 'Football Act', came into force in 2010. The Nuisance Act offers various instruments for different actors to tackle nuisance:
- The mayor can impose an area ban, group ban1 and reporting obligation pursuant to Article 172a of the Municipalities Act [Gemeentewet or Gemw];
- Based on Article 172b of the Municipalities Act, the Mayor can give an order to parents/carers of minors under twelve to ensure that their child is not present in certain areas of the municipality and/or is on the streets unaccompanied during the evening or night [bevel twaalfminners]
- Pursuant to Article 509h of the Dutch Code of Criminal Procedure, the Public Prosecutor can impose rules of conduct on a person suspected of committing a criminal offence (ban on entering an area, reporting obligation, contact ban and obligation to accept help).
The tightening of the law in 2015 included the following:
- The Mayor may issue an order as referred to in Article 172a of the Municipalities Act also on behalf of another Mayor [tevens namens-regeling];
- Mayors' orders pursuant to Article 172a of the Municipalities Act can also be imposed on first-time offenders who commit serious nuisance, so not only in the event of repeated nuisance;
- The Mayor may give an order to someone on whom a sanction has been imposed by a private organisation (such as the Royal Dutch Football Association [KNVB]);
- The maximum duration of Mayors’ orders has been changed from three consecutive months to 90 days within a 24-month period;
- It became possible to impose a digital reporting obligation;
- The criminal court can impose an area ban pursuant to Article 38v of the Criminal Code.
There are 3 kinds of stadium bans in The Netherlands:
- Administrative (the Football Hooliganism and Serious Public Nuisance Act)
Civil stadium bans are the standard in The Netherlands and they form 95% of all stadium bans. The Dutch FA (KNVB) issues national stadium bans. They will either be notified by a local club who issued a local stadium ban or the local police who arrested or fined a person for misbehaviour before, during or after a football match. The FA can subsequently decide to issue a national stadium ban which is the case in 98% of the cases. This procedure is facilitated by a computer application which is used by the FA, Police, professional clubs, the Ministry and some other third parties.
The FA can issue national stadium bans because this is part of the terms and conditions people are subject to when buying a ticket for a match in the professional divisions. If someone has not purchased a ticket (and is therefore not bound to the terms and conditions) the FA can still issue a national stadium ban because every professional club has given written mandate to the FA to decide for them who to refuse entrance to the stadium.
National Strategies/ Policies
Existence of specific safety, security and/or service public policies
At national level the coordination group on safety, security at football matches is active. It consists of high level representatives of the Ministry of Security and Justice, the Public Prosecutor, two Mayors of municipalities, the National Police and the National Football Association. The meetings of this coordination groups are also attended by the chair of the audit committee on football safety and security. The coordination group develops policies to create conditions in which the number of incidents (public disorder) are decreased to contain an atmosphere where football matches can be a party.
The organisations gathered in the coordination groups represent a constituency which makes communications (of policy) simple.
The vision of the national policy is normalisation of football by a nation-wide adapted policy on safety, security and service at football matches. This policy was recently (2021) updated.
Numerous initiatives exist of social preventive actions, fair-play project or measures are at place: sport and football connect people and play an important role in society.
Major Risks and Incidents
Major risks and trends on sport-related violence and disorder:
Information not available
Last major incidents which seem relevant and enlightening on the need to adopt an integrated approach to safety, security and service
There’s not one specific incident that emphasises the need for an integrated approach. It’s more a phenomenon which enlightens the need to adapt an integrated approach to safety, security and service: the use of pyrotechnics.
Evolution of total incidents over the last 10 years
Our National Football Information Point only keeps track of incident regarding professional football matches. Two years ago, a new system for registration of these matches and incidents was implemented. This caused a trend break and numbers aren’t comparable. On top of this, during the Covid-19 period public attendance wasn’t allowed. This influenced the number and characteristics of incidents.
In general, it could be stated that the number of stadium bans mainly is caused by violating rules regarding the use of pyrotechnics.