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Five games moved because of police strike in Netherlands

06 August 2015, 21:33

Amsterdam - Five matches scheduled for the opening weekend of the new league season in the Netherlands have been moved back to next week because of police strike action, the Dutch football association (KNVB) said on Thursday.

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The postponed games include the opening match for champions PSV Eindhoven, who were scheduled to start at ADO Den Haag on Saturday.

Matches in Groningen, Heerenveen, Nijmegen and Zwolle were also called off by municipal authorities as police target this weekend's start of the Dutch league for industrial action as their unions negotiate a new collective labour agreement with the Netherlands government.

City authorities feared the consequences of limited or no police presence in and around the grounds as the problem of football hooliganism in the Netherlands continues to demand tight security and they prohibited the game from taking place.

Police have been targeting high-profile sporting events to highlight their complaints.

Only four of the scheduled matches now go ahead as planned on the opening weekend of the new campaign, including Sunday's visit by Ajax Amsterdam to AZ Alkmaar. The others are at Roda JC Kerkrade, Feyenoord Rotterdam and Willem II Tilburg.

ADO Den Haag's game against PSV has moved to Tuesday along with Heerenveen's match with De Graafschap, which had been scheduled as the opening game on Friday night.

There are three other games now rescheduled for Wednesday.

"The KNVB would have much rather preferred that spectators, clubs and all others who were looking forward to the start of the new football season had been able to see all the scheduled matches take place this weekend. The new dates are the best possible soloution," said a statement.

"We had hoped that the labour and police unions would have sat down with the government and worked out a solution," added KNVB operations director Gijs de Jong on Thursday.

"After it became clear that the police would go ahead with their actions, we spoke to the respective mayors and clubs. Our aim was for all fans to see top division action as soon as possible."

- Reuters


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