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Simon Rutz: The city council has bullied us out.

“The frustration of the police is the reason we are now banned” • “Japanese K-1 is declaring bankruptcy” • “I’m tired of defending myself”


Kickboxpromotor Simon Rutz made the IT’S SHOWTIME event in the Amsterdam ArenA the biggest fightsport event in the world. Toplevel fighters who were recently only fighting in Japan we’re brought to Amsterdam by Rutz. But not to everybody’s liking. According to mayor Eberhard van der Laan these kickboxing events are networking locations for criminals and the events itself are financed by sketchy sources. He wants them out of the city. Metro talked about the future of kickboxing in Amsterdam with Rutz.

The yearly event in May in the ArenA is cancelled. Why?
We were supposed to host the event with the Japanese K1 organization. Their company is financially in big trouble and thus they were unable to complete the matchmaking. They were so desperate they wouldn’t even answer the phone anymore. Soon they will declare bankruptcy. Due to the limited time and all the negative press it was unable for us to organize everything with sponsors and ticket sales.  .   

Would it been able if the K1 did kept their end of the deal?
I am beginning to wonder whether or not the city of Amsterdam is worth it to host the event. Everywhere we are welcomed with open arms. We now have eleven events all over the World. And here we have to constantly fight for our image. I’m getting real tired of it.

Do you feel bullied by the city council?
Yes of course I feel like they’re trying to get rid of us. While the council is complaining about the lack of sporting events in the city. And what do they do? They scare away one of the biggest events from the city.

This hurts in your heart?

Absolutely, this is my homeland, our base is here. Of course it hurts, but against some things you cannot fight. Organizing these events costs a lot of energy. We work very hard with eleven people, sometimes 16 hours a day. So if we have to fight this as well..
We are better of putting our energy in things that pay off.

What do you think is the reason kickboxing events are put in such a bad spotlight?
The police literally told me that they are annoyed to see certain individuals in the audience they have their sights on. That’s what this is about. And now they found a mayor who is gullible enough.

Would you be able to take on this battle?
It’s not a fair fight. If I have to proof according to the Bibob law that we are not a criminal organization, and I wouldn’t know why I have to defend myself, it will cost me lawyers, time and sleepless nights. I am no Don Quichotte. It costs me money from my company. A mayor or council can use money from their city funds. Which are practically unlimited.  

Do you see a positive outcome eventually here in Amsterdam?

Mayors come and go. But do I have to sit this one out and wait for a more friendly mayor next time? Do I have to keep hoping whether or not I am welcome in Amsterdam? 

Source: Metro (Dutch newspaper)


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Rob, Holland reporter (1964 posts)
Posted: 2011-03-01 at: 05:17
I don't understand why they are allowed to hold an event in Sporthallen Zuid and not in the ArenA :S
Both are funded by the city council. Sure the ArenA event was cancelled due to FEG, but it's still strange. I wonder if they consider going to Rotterdam..
... (736 posts)
Posted: 2011-03-01 at: 07:34
@Rob in the arena it is also still allowed untill this date! they talking about the future! they also wanna forbid it elswhere in town, doesnt matther where!
... (736 posts)
Posted: 2011-03-01 at: 07:53
@ronaldo ahoy in rotterdam is allready a base for tournaments! .
or do you mean the kuip? feyenoord soccer stadium? that is open air so that will not work!
why not the geldredome in arnhem? wouldn't that be a cool location rob? than you can also attract fans from germany tu fill the empty spots!
Rob, Holland reporter (1964 posts)
Posted: 2011-03-01 at: 10:23
You're right, it's still an option. This year FEG was the real reason. Let's hope IT'S SHOWTIME can manage to get by the Bibob law. Otherwise Gelredome would be an awesome substitute indeed Ronaldo :D
... (736 posts)
Posted: 2011-03-03 at: 05:04
@Rob yeh that b-bob law is nasty
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