A row has broken out between police and the Dutch football association after a senior football official called the police ‘spoilt’ and urged the government not to meet their pay demand.
KNVB director Henk Kesler made the comments following the cancellation of two premiere league matches at the weekend because of industrial action by police officers. The courts gave the go ahead to the strikes on Friday evening.
The cancellation of the Ajax-PSV and Feyenoord-AZ ties was ‘a black day for football’, Henk Kesler told a press conference on Saturday. And he advised the home affairs minister ‘not to give these spoilt little men a cent more’.
Police unions reacted furiously, saying they realised that with his salary he had nothing to complain about. However, they pointed out that it is the ‘spoilt men’ who ensure his football matches run smoothly. The unions and police chiefs have demanded an apology.
According to Monday’s Trouw the football association’s chairman Jeu Sprengers says he is ‘extremely irritated’ by Kesler’s comments. ‘He has damaged our image,’ he told the paper.
Home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst has distanced herself from the comments and of the four football clubs involved, only Ajax has shown support for Kesler. The man himself, reports the AD newspaper, is refusing to apologise.
The football association will discuss Kesler’s statement at a meeting later today.
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