Rotterdam braces for crowds ahead of Feyenoord victory parade
After a decisive victory on Sunday afternoon, Rotterdam’s Feyenoord is heading into the city on Monday for what is expected to be a large - and potentially disruptive - victory parade.
Rotterdam football team takes home Dutch Eredivisie title
Feyenoord’s chances of winning the national championship (Eredivisie) were looking pretty good. The victory was secured after the team beat Deventer’s Go Ahead Eagles 3 - 0 during their match on Sunday afternoon. This marks the first time the Rotterdam team has taken home the national title since 2017.
Monday, May 15 sees Rotterdam celebrate the homecoming of the champion team with a victory parade, which will end with a reception at the town hall where Feyenoord’s players will be honoured by Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb.
Tens of thousands of Feyenoord fans are expected to descend upon the city for the festivities, with the first groups arriving as early as 6am on Monday morning in order to secure a decent spot along the parade route. The huldiging (“celebration”) kicks off at 11.45am, and is due to end by around 1.30pm.
Disruption expected to Rotterdam transport on May 15
In honour of the occasion, primary and secondary schools in and around Rotterdam were granted permission by the city council to give students and pupils the day off for the victory parade - although the decision was ultimately left to the families and school boards.
Heavy disruption is expected in the city centre as a result of the celebrations. Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) has asked fans not to travel to Rotterdam for the parade, while other passengers who cannot reschedule their trips have been warned to prepare for very busy trains.
The rail operator expects the largest crowds between 9am and 11am, and then again between 2pm and 4pm. In order to help manage the high passenger numbers, NS is deploying additional and longer trains. Further disruption is expected to local traffic, as some roads in the city centre have been closed off for the ceremony.
Some celebrations among Feyenoord fans turn violent
While Monday marks the day of the official victory celebrations, some fans kicked things off a little earlier. Following Feyenoord’s win on Sunday, thousands of fans descended on Rotterdam - specifically areas near the Stadhuisplein, Bennenrotte and Coolsingel. Police report that the festivities were “manageable”, but on Sunday evening a spokesperson reported that around 100 arrests had been made.
NOS reports that, at around 8.30pm, the atmosphere near the Coolsingel shifted: “Police officers were harassed and there was open violence, after which the riot police intervened.” A water cannon was used to disperse some of the crowds. “The riot police also came into action after midnight,” NOS writes.
By Sunday evening, the municipality asked fans to return home by 10pm so that the Coolsingel and surrounding areas could be prepared for Monday’s ceremony.
Thumb: kivnl via Shutterstock.com.