The Dutch football association KNVB is bringing in new rules to get tough on homophobic chanting at matches by giving referees the power to halt games.
Fans will first be warned over the loudspeaker if the chanting is prolonged and directed at individuals. After a second warning, referees can then stop the game temporarily. Those caught chanting face a stadium ban of up to 18 months
The decision was made unanimously by all the country’s professional clubs at a meeting in June and will come into effect in the coming season.
“Football belongs to everyone and that means chanting in which the word homo is used as an insult is unacceptable,” the KNVB’s professional football chief Marianne van Leeuwen said. “We have decided to call a halt and will evaluate the measures we are taking later to see if they deliver the desired result.”
In 2020, the KNVB launched its OneLove campaign which aims to promote the idea that ‘everyone in football should be able to be themselves’ and to ‘support everyone who feels discriminated against across the world.’
However, a roll out with rainbow armbands across the World Cup in Qatar was scuppered by Fifa rules and two Eredivisie captains also refused to wear them.
The KNVB is also experimenting with technology aimed at helping track down fans who shout racist or discriminatory comments at players.
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