The Dutch Football Association, KNVB, is seeking to leverage biometric technology to keep hooligans out of soccer games. To that end, it has commissioned an app from the G4S security company that uses fingerprint scanning and GPS technology to effectively track convicted hooligans.
It’s intended as a more effective alternative to the country’s current system, in which individuals who have been convicted of crimes related to soccer hooliganism must check in at local police stations on the date of a match. The KNVB’s mobile app instead allows such individuals to scan their fingerprints on smartphone, and to be tracked via GPS, ensuring they aren’t going near stadiums.
The KNVB isn’t the first soccer organization to see such potential in biometric technology: Earlier this year, the Scottish Professional Football League announced that it was considering using facial recognition in stadiums to weed out hooligans. While that project depended to some extent on federal government funding, DutchNews reports that the KNVB is promoting the mobile app as a more cost-effective system than that currently in place, and says that initial trials undertaken with the cooperation of convicted hooligans—who were promised shorter stadium bans for their participation—have proven effective.
As for whether the app will actually be adopted, the question now rests with local municipal bodies.
August 25, 2016 – by Alex Perala