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FC Groningen fans have to appear in court after violence against other supporters

Twelve fans of FC Groningen have to answer to a judge in court on Tuesday and Wednesday in Leeuwarden for disturbances around the football match Heerenveen – FC Groningen. Fans of both clubs contacted each other and FC Groningen travelled to the village for a confrontation.

Back in 2015, when the disturbances happened, Groningen travelled to the village and went straight to the pub of the club there. About fifty supporters were involved in the confrontation in the village centre. The suspect between 23 and 43 years of age have to appear for court on Tuesday and Wednesday. Four of the suspect were arrested at the scene of the confrontation. Three supporters were injured during the disturbances. First, the accusations led to attempted manslaughter and heavy abuse. There would have been knives. Later on that did prove not to be the case. The three injured were allowed to go home after treatment at the hospital.

The purpose of the meeting would have been to launch a violent confrontation between the fans. Through social media and WhatsApp supporters would have been in touch with each other. The confrontation eventually took place near café De Skoffel, the permanent meeting place of Heerenveen supporters. Immediately after the disturbances happened, the police called witnesses to submit pictures and videos of the events. In the weeks after the riots another eleven suspects were arrested.

Lawyer Greetje van der Zee from Groningen, who assists one of the suspects, mentions that only fans of FC Groningen have been arrested and nobody from Heerenveen. “Three times more Heerenveen supporters were involved than Groningers.” The four men were held for a couple of days and then returned to Groningen by car. In the meantime the police had installed listening devices with the permission of the judge-commissioner. According to Attorney Van der Zee, this provided some information on which more suspects were arrested.

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