The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Dutch ambassador for a meeting on Saturday to formally protest what it deemed as “discriminatory actions” carried out by Dutch police against Polish footballers.
The incident occurred following a match between the local club in Alkmaar and Legia Warszawa on Thursday night. Dutch police confirmed the arrest of two members of the Polish football team in connection with a disturbance that took place in Alkmaar after the match. Several other Polish players also alleged police brutality during the incident.
Paweł Jabłoński, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister, expressed serious concerns about the alleged “systemic actions” by Dutch state and Alkmaar city officers against Polish citizens. Speaking to reporters after the meeting with Dutch Ambassador Daphne Bergsma, Jabłoński conveyed the Polish government’s protest and demanded a thorough investigation. He emphasized the need for those responsible to face consequences through the justice system.
“The point is,” Jabłoński stated, “to ensure that people who are responsible for these types of actions bear the consequences and that the justice system simply takes appropriate action.”
During the meeting, the Dutch ambassador reportedly agreed on the necessity of establishing the facts in the case and expressed full readiness to cooperate in the investigation. Jabłoński expressed hope that this cooperation would lead to a swift collection of evidence. He emphasized that if it was confirmed that these actions were systemic, the perpetrators would be promptly punished.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki took to social media on Friday, announcing that he had raised the issue with his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, during an informal EU Council sitting. Rutte assured Morawiecki of a rapid clarification of events. Morawiecki also recommended that the Polish foreign ministry take urgent diplomatic measures to address the matter.
The incident occurred after the Alkmaar club’s victory over Legia Warszawa with a score of 1-0. Polish journalists present at the game reported clashes between Polish fans and security services after the police and security personnel closed the stadium. The closure allegedly aimed to prevent a confrontation between Legia fans and an organized group exiting the stadium.
Reportedly, Legia representatives, including players, had their access to the team bus obstructed, leading to verbal and physical altercations. Dutch police eventually cordoned off the bus, which already had several team members on board. Two Legia players were allegedly removed from the bus by Dutch police following altercations.
According to a statement by Dutch police, Polish football fans were accused of storming the stadium’s gate before the match and behaving aggressively, as reported by Polish private radio RMF FM.
Bartosz Zaslawski, a Legia Warszawa spokesperson, confirmed on Friday evening that the arrested footballers, Josue and Radovan Pankov, had been released and were en route to Warsaw.
Legia Warszawa was in the city to play a Europe Conference League match against AZ Alkmaar. The incident has sparked concerns about the treatment of Polish citizens abroad and has raised questions about the actions of Dutch law enforcement officers. Investigations are ongoing to establish the full details of the incident