Record number of aggression reports in Flemish youth football

Reports of aggression during youth football matches in Flanders reached an all-time high last season. Between August and December, the Flemish youth and amateur football association Voetbal Vlaanderen received 337 complaints and reports.

"Our youth and amateur football gets more than a million people moving every week, which is fantastic," said Philippe Rosier, CEO of Voetbal Vlaanderen. "Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong. Children are sometimes booed, parents get into fistfights, coaches put too much pressure on young people to win a match, and so on."

In the first half of last season, Voetbal Vlaanderen recorded around 91 cases of verbal or physical aggression on and off the pitch. This year, the number has quadrupled. Most of the incidents involved transgressive and unfair behaviour. 

The number of sanctions imposed by the federation for aggression on the sidelines has also increased. There were 3,808 in the first half of the season, around 400 more than in the first half of last year. The sanctions range from fines to suspensions and even life bans.

The federation has teamed up with singer Metejoor to launch an awareness campaign. In his latest song De Zijlijn (The Sideline), Metejoor describes the pressure to perform he experienced as a 10-year-old footballer.

"You get negative stress, you lose your self-confidence and you can no longer have fun on the football pitch. I want to spare the boys and girls that feeling," he said.



Related news

Website preview
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.
Website preview
TikTok incident spotlights racism in Belgian youth football: 'The situation is dire'
A slew of racist comments on a TikTok video has highlighted how Belgian football's racism problem seems not only to be persisting but escalating. "There is an acute problem. The situation is dire," the president of the Belgian Football Federation's 'racism court' told Belgian media. Halfway through this season, they have already received 98 cases. No less than 40 per cent of all cases in football involve young players.
Website preview
Flanders wants to curb foreign takeovers in amateur soccer
As in professional soccer, more and more Belgian amateur clubs are falling into the hands of foreign investors. Flemish Sports minister Ben Weyts (N-VA) has therefore devised a plan to prevent Flemish amateur soccer from becoming a "farm league", writes De Morgen on Friday.

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels