Marc Overmars was suspended on Thursday due to sexual harassment during his time at Ajax. The technical director of the Belgian Royal Antwerp is not allowed to work in Dutch football for a year due to the punishment.
The penalty imposed by the Institute for Sports Jurisprudence (ISR) only applies within the KNVB and organizations affiliated with the Dutch Football Association. Overmars can therefore continue his work at Antwerp.
At two years (one of which is conditional), Overmars’ sentence is considerably lower than the requirement of five years (of which two are conditional). The ISR reports that when determining the sentence, it was taken into account that the issue had received a lot of publicity and that Overmars had been damaged as a result.
The ISR notes that Overmars has been guilty of transgressive behavior for a long time and has therefore acted in violation of the Sexual Harassment regulations on several occasions. Overmars himself agreed that he has been guilty of transgressive behavior several times.
One indictment counted more than three hundred pages of WhatsApp traffic
Overmars left Ajax in February 2022 after several reports of inappropriate behavior. In July this year, a report was filed against the driver, who had sent sexually explicit messages, photos and videos to several staff members.
The disciplinary committee considers one charge proven. The person reporting the complaint had provided more than three hundred pages of WhatsApp messages over a period of more than 3.5 years.
“The vast majority of those messages (from Marc Overmars to the reporter) are sexually explicit and contain one-sided very explicit material (text and photos),” the ISR writes. The other accusations were not found sufficiently proven.
Ajax previously hired an external agency to investigate Overmars’ work culture and behavior. The results came into the hands of the Ajax management in May last year, but were not shared with the outside world.