Ban on evening football? Not if it is up to these Antwerp clubs: “Should we train in the dark during the week?”

On Monday morning, Ecolo Member of Parliament Sévérine De Laveleye launched an energy-saving proposal for football teams during the winter months: a temporary ban on evening football. In concrete terms, this means that matches will be played on Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday evening. Her idea cannot immediately count on much support from the clubs in the lower tiers. “If we played on Sunday, we wouldn’t have an audience. And no audience, that also means no income.”

READ ALSO. Ecolo has a remarkable proposal to save energy: “Don’t play football matches in the evening anymore”

Luc Sysmans, chairman of Zwarte Leeuw:

“This doesn’t solve much, the costs are still skyrocketing”

In Rijkevorsel they are not immediately keen on the plan: “I think that the move from Saturday evening matches to Sunday will not help much”, said chairman Luc Sysmans. “Thanks to this measure, our energy-efficient LED lighting burns for 3 to 4 hours less. Okay, but what are we going to do with all the evening workouts? The four hours that we don’t need lighting for a match does not outweigh the 20 to 30 hours that this lighting is on during the week. The costs will still be skyrocketing.”

Training during the day is obviously not an issue for amateur clubs: “Then we must have a different statute. We can hardly expect our players to come and train during the day during the week.”

© koen fasseur

Karel Van Daele, chairman Berchem Sport:

“When we play on Sunday, we have no spectators at all”

They are also not fond of the idea at Berchem Sport: “Since the matches of Antwerp and Beerschot are often played on Sunday, we simply cannot play on Sunday. We need an audience for our income and on Sunday everyone is among the top posters,” says Karel Van Daele, the chairman of Berchem Sport.

“Another consideration: we may be able to turn off our lighting pylons on Sundays, but in winter we still use lights and showers. No, we actually make very little progress with this arrangement.”


François De Keersmaecker, chairman RC Mechelen:

“We can’t decide this overnight”

At Racing Mechelen they are not immediately averse to the plans. “If this is actually going to make a difference in energy consumption, then we should take a look at it. But really fair? We have not yet thought about that,” said chairman François De Keersmaecker. “At the moment we play certain matches on Saturday evening, others on Sunday. We cannot make that decision overnight. We will have to discuss that with other clubs.”

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