Willem II expressed his support for the municipality of Tilburg on Friday. On Thursday, there was a lot of commotion because about a thousand fans of the club did not comply with the corona measures on a fan square at the Europa League match against Rangers FC (0-4).
Home game against Heracles ‘went well’
“We believe that the municipality has made the right decision to allow our supporters to come together and facilitate in one place. This prevents Willem II supporters from going uncontrolled through the city center and beyond,” says general director Martin van Geel on the website from Willem II.
He calls it a “utopia” that the supporters would all watch the first European home game in fifteen years at home. “On the other hand, we regret that the corona guidelines have not been followed in the square. Every individual must take his or her responsibility in this.”
Earlier on Friday, the Tilburg mayor Theo Weterings already placed the responsibility for non-compliance with the fans. “The supporters have endangered their own health and that of those around them.”
The municipality of Tilburg issued a permit for the event at Olympiaplein in the Brabant city.
General director Martin van Geel of Willem II. (Photo: Pro Shots)
As a club, Willem II is only responsible for complying with corona rules in its own stadium. However, no spectators were welcome there on Thursday.
Van Geel emphasizes that last weekend the first home game in the Eredivisie against Heracles Almelo (4-0 win) went without any problems. “There were almost four thousand supporters present. That went very well, partly because we know which people are present in our stadium and we have control over them.”
Van Geel hopes that problems such as the fan square can be prevented by allowing more fans into the stadium: “In our view, the safe, responsible and even filling of football stadiums is the best solution to prevent such escalations.”
Police and boa unions expressed their bewilderment about the fan square on Thursday and Friday. A spokesperson for the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital (ETZ) in Tilburg also tells Press that he regrets the state of affairs. “It is bitter, because care workers 1 kilometer away are doing everything they can to make corona patients better,” said the spokesman.