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Just Spee: 'Our ambition is to contribute to the development of our game'

On 17 December 2019, Just Spee took office as the new president of the KNVB, the Dutch national football association. In an interview with UEFA Direct, Just Spee introduces himself.

Royal Netherlands Football Association president Just Spee
Royal Netherlands Football Association president Just Spee ©KNVB Media

Just Spee, congratulations on your election as the new KNVB president!

Thank you very much. I am happy and grateful that the members of the KNVB have chosen me as their president. I look forward to working together with the European football family for the future of our football.

What is your background in football?

Amsterdam is looking forward to playing a key role at UEFA EURO 2020
Amsterdam is looking forward to playing a key role at UEFA EURO 2020©iStock

Football has always been an important part of my life and that of my family. I joined the Royal Haarlemsche Football Club and, after progressing through the ranks of the youth academy, I managed to make it to the first team of this illustrious club, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year. As a football director, I have also gained experience in both professional and amateur football.

Prior to your candidacy for the KNVB presidency, you were the CEO of Endemol, a global media company. How will your work experience help you in your new job?

Media and new media are at the forefront of the future of football. I know the world of media is in flux at the moment, with changing consumer behaviour that demands a wider offer of our entertainment product. To translate this into football language, football fans are expecting more and more ways to watch their heroes and heroines in action. I am aware of UEFA's developments in the field of OTT platforms and I truly look forward to contributing and cooperating on the many different innovations that are ahead of us. Besides, TV rights are still a large part of sports revenues and it is therefore crucial that the world of football is innovative in tackling the challenges of a changing world.

You mention working together with the European 'football family'. Why is this so important to you?

Our ambition is to contribute to the development of our game. The world is changing and that means we need to adapt. That is why we have created a strategy for the Future of our Football. Our international strategy is based on a dynamic, innovative and relevant international football community, for now and for the future.

This [week], the KNVB will host the UEFA Congress in Amsterdam and the city will be a UEFA EURO 2020 venue. What can we expect?

I am honoured that UEFA will hold its yearly Congress in the Netherlands. We look forward to welcoming representatives of all 55 UEFA member associations in Amsterdam for the UEFA Congress and the draw for the league phase of the UEFA Nations League. Personally, I look forward to meeting my colleagues and friends from UEFA and the member associations, to hopefully further develop our deep bonds based on respect and our shared football values.

Regarding EURO 2020, Amsterdam will be host to four matches, and the city will be able to make a wonderful contribution to what is so dear to our Dutch hearts: building bridges. We are very proud to be part of the organisation and will continue working with UEFA to deliver a great tournament, honouring 60 years of European Championships.

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 189