Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday hit out at fans who sing and cheer at football matches, saying they were frustrating the fight against the coronavirus amid a surge in infections.
Limited crowds have been allowed back in Dutch stadiums since the start of the new season this month, but only if they adhere to social distancing rules and refrain from singing and shouting.
The Eredivisie match between Feyenoord and FC Twente, which took place on Sunday in De Kuip stadium, was attended by 13,000 people. Many fans were far from quiet and many left their designated seats during matches to stand and sing together throughout the game, in spite of protocols by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB).
"Just shut up when you're sitting there," Rutte said when asked about fans' behavior in the stadiums. "Watch the game and don't shout. It's possible."
"It's utterly stupid," the prime minister said. "That way we won't get the virus under control."
The daily tally of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands topped 2,000 for the first time on Monday, setting a record for the fifth time in a week.
During a debate in parliament in June, the prime minister said that matches may have to be played behind closed doors if fans fail to follow coronavirus rules.
The venues are operating at around a quarter of their capacity to make sure there is at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) of distance between fans from different households. Fans can only enter and exit stadiums at certain times, meaning some have to arrive more than an hour early and others have to wait a long while before they can leave after the games.
Meanwhile, other European countries, namely Italy, Germany and England, have started the new season in empty stadiums.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.