The director of football club FC Den Bosch said on Wednesday he was deeply ashamed of the racist chanting by a small group of supporters during Tuesday night’s cup match against AZ of Alkmaar.
The chanting was directed at AZ’s American striker Jozy Altidore, who is black, and led director Peter Bijvelds to make an emotional plea to fans during half time.
The match, which Den Bosch lost 0-5, was also suspended for a time in the second half after ice was thrown at a linesman.
‘The well-motivated people at this club cannot succeed in stopping and getting rid of the small group of malicious people,’ Bijvelds told the NRC. ‘But this has to happen, because the club cannot take much more.’
Altidore himself said he would pray for his tormentors. ‘I was brought up to be strong by my parents and I have seen a lot of the world,’ he said. ‘I am not going to be moved aside by monkey noises.’
The racist chanting generated much attention abroad.
News agency AP said: ‘The racism was all the more shocking as it came just weeks after Dutch football authorities pleaded for more respect at all levels of the game following the death of a linesman after he was attacked by players…’