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Racial abuse investigated after game suspended

November 18, 2019

A referee had to suspend a game after fans of FC Den Bosch abused a black player for Excelsior Rotterdam. This is the fourth major incident of racism in European football in recent months.

FC Den Bosch vs Excelsior Rotterdam
Image: picturealliance/dpa/PRO SHOTS

Prosecutors in the Netherlands as well as the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) both announced on Monday that they were launching investigations over racial abuse at a soccer game over the weekend.

A second league match was suspended by the referee just half an hour into play on Sunday after Excelsior Rotterdam forward Ahmad Mendes Moreira was called a "negro and cotton-picker" by fans of opposing side FC Den Bosch without interruption from the beginning of the game.

"I'm just very angry and very sad that these things still happen," Moreira said.

Local police were working with prosecutors to review footage of the game in order to determine what exactly happened and who participated in the abuse, while the KNVB said it was exploring possible sanctions against Den Bosch and its supporters.

"Together with the club, we will do everything to track down who did this," the KNVB's league director Jan Bluyssen said.

The KNVB has the power to ban individuals from stadiums as well as impose penalties on teams who are found not to be actively preventing racial abuse.

Racism rampant in European football

The incident is the fourth in Europe in recent months where racist fans have caused problems during a game. Earlier this month, Italian striker Mario Balotelli, who has often been the victim of abusive taunts throughout his career, walked off the pitch over offensive jeers. Around the same time, Taison of Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk was shown a red card after reacting to racist comments from the crowd.

In October, an international match between England and Bulgaria saw Bulgarian fans taunting England's black players with monkey chants and Nazi salutes.

es/aw (dpa, Reuters)

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