Aggression in Flemish football to be punished twice as harshly

Verbal or physical aggression in football will be punished twice as harshly from next season, Flanders' youth and amateur club federation Voetbal Vlaanderen announced on Wednesday.

Voetbal Vlaanderen has recorded 6,801 incidents of verbal or physical aggression this year. Its disciplinary committee imposed 5,958 sanctions through amicable settlements and 843 sanctions following a summons. With around 330,000 matches played each season, this means an incident of aggression occurs in two per cent of games.

"We can no longer tolerate this," said Philippe Rosier, general director of Voetbal Vlaanderen. "Apparently these forms of aggression are ingrained in our football culture. We are no longer satisfied with this response. In addition to all our forms of awareness-raising, it is time to increase sanctions. Aggression has no place and will be punished twice as harshly from the 2023-2024 season."

The table used to determine the penalty scale will be updated from the start of next season. "The indicative table needed an update. We could no longer explain certain sanctions to the victims or their families," said Marc Van Craen, president of Voetbal Vlaanderen. "By doing this, we as a federation show that there is no place for any form of aggression in our sport. It goes without saying that all basic legal principles will be respected and specific factors relating to the incident will be taken into account."



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