Wednesday 08 February 2023


The crowd trouble after Tuesday night’s friendly between the Dutch and the Moroccan youth teams –- in which Moroccan supporters trashed the Tilburg stadium –- led to 26 arrests and a five year ban on friendlies between the two countries.

The trail of destruction left by celebrating Ajax supporters when the Amsterdam team took the Dutch cup a few weeks ago led to 50 arrests and the mayor dithering about a possible ban on any further celebrations in the city should Ajax win anything next season.
Today’s Volkskrant carries several long articles –- including one on its front page –- about Moroccan football hooligans. It talks of an ‘explosion of violence’ and says that storming the pitch is a Moroccan tradition.
The Volkskrant of May 8 after the Ajax riots carried one small item. There was no big analysis of the ‘explosion of violence’ or statement from experts saying that rampaging up a shopping street smashing windows is a Ajax supporter tradition.
The double standard is something Holland’s ethnic minorities are well-used to. You never see a ‘good Moroccan’ headline in a Dutch paper.
But that is not to excuse Tuesday’s violence. The behaviour of a minority of Moroccan supporters after Tuesday’s match was disgraceful and something which anyone with any sense from the Moroccan community has soundly condemned.
But the fact that young men trashed a football stadium has nothing to do with their nationality. It simply shows that the Netherlands has a totally integrated and multi-cultural bunch of football hooligans.

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