FC Groningen fans refuse to travel to Heerenveen after mayor imposes measures

Things have taken a nasty turn in the Eredivisie as FC Groningen have announced they will not take any away fans with them for their trip to Heerenveen, De Telegraaf reports

The visitors were told on Wednesday (January 18) their allocation has been halved from 1200 to 600 with the hosts citing safety concerns. 

Groningen supporters have decided they will be boycotting the match with director Wouter Gudde supporting the decision. 

The decision came from Mayor of Heerenveen Tjeerd van der Zwan who made the call following disruptions among fans in recent meetings between the two sides. 

He said: “The starting point in Heerenveen is always hospitality and accessibility.

“But at the same time we also want all supporters to be able to safely enjoy a football match, wherever they are in the stadium. This applies to everyone, in and around the stadium. It should not be the case that staff, spectators, players, police officers or stewards feel unsafe.”

The measures included Groningen sending over the names of the 600 fans to the municipality ahead of the match, something that the club are reluctant to do. Gudde refutes the reasons behind the measures and argues the majority of fans are punished for no reason.

Gudde said: . “Let’s assume that people who cannot behave themselves must receive an appropriate punishment. 

“What is happening now in Heerenveen and we have seen before after the duel with Excelsior, is that entire groups are being punished. The good must suffer for the bad. 

“That is unacceptable. We understand the decision of our supporters not to go and fully support this choice.”

GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips

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