Tuesday, April 10, 2012
EINDHOVEN – Massive fights, karate kicks and molestation of referees. This season the KNVB counted 27 serious incidents of violence in amateur soccer in Brabant. Despite heavy punishments there seems to be no end to it.
“It was a bizarre game,” said referee Jack de Kroon from Eindhoven. Two red cards in the first ten minutes and in the last minute things went completely wrong after a third red card. “Players and spectators flipped completely. I have been beaten and escorted off the sports park by the police.””I felt safe only when the police knocked on the door of the referee room.” De Kroon is already 35 years referee in amateur soccer and had never seen anything like this. “It was very intense. The past season incidents happened almost 30 times on the soccer field in amateur competitions. The KNVB wants to address the misconduct harder and punishes the hooligans stricter and faster.”We were fed up with the stories of riots and fights. For years we tried to address the players with well-intentioned campaigns and sweet words,” said a spokesman of the KNVB. “That had hardly any effect. The strict rules seem to cause a turnaround.”John Bil, spokesman for soccer club TSC Oosterhout, is still not so sure about that. At TSC it went wrong at the beginning of the season. A player of AV Terheijden was badly mistreated during a soccer match against TSC. The boy suffered a ruptured spleen and bruised ribs. He has since recovered and plays soccer again.The team has been suspended, two players have been given community service sentences, there is still a criminal case and a player appealed against a suspension of nine years. “Tougher penalties don´t help anything. Do you think such a soccer player thinks about his severe punishment just before he sells a blow. The whole team has fallen apart,” says Bil. “That has an impact on the whole club.”De Kroon does not stop. “The week after I led another game and I did not feel at ease. After five minutes it was over, it went well. I got my confidence back again. I want to keep blowing the whistle for years, I love the game.”OB