The police can temporarily stop and search groups of football supporters in Enschede as a preventive measure, the police and municipality announced on Wednesday evening. The reason is the discovery of weapons at a supporters’ group in the city earlier in the evening.
The power to temporarily conduct body searches took effect at 9:45 p.m. and applies to the entire municipality. The measure is aimed at “all supporters groups,” according to a statement from the police and the city, and is intended to prevent violence between those groups.
On Thursday evening, FC Twente will play against the Swedish football club Hammarby IF in the second preliminary round of the Conference League. Because of that match, an emergency ordinance has been in effect in the city center of Enschede since Wednesday morning. Hammarby IF supporters are not allowed to enter the city center until 10:00 a.m. on Friday to prevent disturbances.
In the run-up to Thursday evening’s duel, a lot of police were on the street in Enschede and the surrounding area on Wednesday evening. According to the German police, who are also deployed in the border area, there were indications of clashes between hooligans. Images from local media show that the police were moving between supporters of the Twente club with the riot police on standby.
According to RTV Oost, the riot police stopped a group of about 50 FC Twente supporters in the Pathmos district. A police spokesperson could not confirm that earlier in the evening. He did say the police had stopped several people, but no arrests had been made.
The German police in the Borken region, across the border near Enschede, reported that both the Dutch and German police were present in the border area on Wednesday evening. According to the German authorities, there were indications that “problem fans” of both clubs were planning “violent confrontations” in the border area around Enschede and Haaskbergen, also on the German side.
According to the German police, the hardcore fans of the German club Schalke and Amsterdam club Ajax were also heading to the area. The Schalke supporters to support friendly Twente fans, and the Ajax supporters to strengthen the Swedish Hammarby IF supporters. The German police said they were in close contact with their Dutch colleagues about this.
Reporting by ANP