The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced Sunday that it is “taking a crackdown on racism” after a second division game between FC Den Bosch and Excelsior halted because of racist chanting.
Referee Laurens Gerrets suspended the Eerste Divisie game at the 28th minute when Excelsior striker Ahmad Mendes Moreira became the target of chants – allegedly including “Kanker Zwarte Piet” and “cotton picker” – from fans of the opposing team.
According to CNN, “Moreira walked off the pitch after 30 minutes due to the abuse, with his teammates consoling him and then turning to remonstrate with a section of the crowd.”
Moreira scored a goal 15 minutes after the game resumed and celebrated by cupping his hands to his ears toward the Den Bosch supporters.
Den Bosch coach, Erik van der Ven, allegedly called Moreira a ‘pathetic little man’ after the game – a comment the opposing team coach later clarified was not “about the fact that [Moreira] felt attacked but more about the fact that he provoked the fans again after his goal. In my opinion that isn’t smart because the game was already temporarily postponed…That is the reason I said that [pathetic little man] and that was not wise to say. I am absolutely against any form of racism, I don’t want to have anything to do with racism.”
In a statement on the KNVB website, the association responded to the incident saying, “There is no room for racism in football.” KNVB also stated that their protocol for chanting had been used correctly during the game and “Together with the club, we are now looking at how the perpetrators can be traced and dealt with. Finally, this incident will be further investigated through the independent disciplinary system.”
The final score of the match was 3-3.