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Amsterdam police chief named as new Dutch football association chair


Amsterdam police chief named as new Dutch football association chair

Frank Paauw is the new chair of the Dutch football association, the KNVB. The 65-year-old chief of the Amsterdam police received the most votes during an association meeting in Zeist from 30 delegates from professional football and 30 representatives from amateur football. He beat the two other candidates, Hans Nijland and Jeanet van der Laan, in the Monday vote.

Paauw will be in charge at the KNVB until at least the end of next year, which is the end of current incumbent Just Spee’s term. Spee has been the association’s chair since 2019 but will be leaving his post due to health reasons, the KNVB announced at the end of September.

The former police chief was contemplating withdrawing from the race for the position due to the intense criticism he received after becoming a candidate. The KNVB’s association board put Paauw’s name forward in February for the position.

Supporters from many clubs were against Paauw’s appointment because he has spoken out in favor of stricter measures against supporters’ violence. One of the measures discussed was banning away fans from high-risk matches. Paauw has said in the last few weeks that he does not plan on implementing this and repeated this after his appointment.

The 65-year-old was “shocked by the intensity, the degree of organization and mobilization” of the resistance to his appointment. “I also said this to the supporters last week. That is never nice, but you can complain about that for a long time. I think there is a lot of work to do before we can discuss this together.”

Paauw’s current job also contributed to his hesitation to withdraw from the race. He added that he questioned whether this was a smart move as he did not want it to affect his main job at the time. He eventually decided to go through with his candidacy because he felt he had something to offer.

He will now resign from his position for the police. “HR departments are currently looking at this, but that won’t be an issue. I am not letting go of Amsterdam completely. I will, in a short while, don’t hold me to it being a week or something, return as Amsterdam police chief with rules set for conflict of interests. For example, I will not be able to get involved with the football portfolio.”

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