Ajax’s former director of football Marc Overmars has been suspended from working in the sport worldwide for a year, forcing him to step down from his duties at Belgian club Royal Antwerp.
Overmars, 50, was given a two-year suspension by the Dutch sports disciplinary body ISR at the end of last year, after finding he had broken its rules on sexual harassment.
The ban did not immediately affect Overmars, as the ISR only has jurisdiction in the Netherlands. But the football association KNVB contacted world governing body FIFA, which imposed a worldwide ban with immediate effect.
The suspension was confirmed in an e-mail to the NRC newspaper, which brought the allegations against Overmars to light two years ago.
Half the suspension is provisional, meaning Overmars will be able to return to work after 12 months as long as he does not breach the rules again.
Overmars joined Antwerp in March 2022, six weeks after leaving Ajax under a cloud after he admitted sending inappropriate messages, including unsolicited intimate photographs of himself, to female colleagues.
The ban means he will not be able to supervise the purchase and sale of players at Antwerp for the rest of the January transfer window, one of the busiest times of year in his current role.
Overmars can appeal against the decision to FIFA and may also be able to contest the ban under Belgian labour laws, Marjan Olfers, professor of sports law at the VU in Amsterdam told NPO.
“FIFA has said: you don’t belong in the football family. But FIFA is not above Belgian labour law. So it depends on what it says in Overmars’s contract,” she said.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation