Spakenburg moves to confront supporters over homophobic proclamations: ‘This is a slur’
Spakenburg plans to “confront” some of its supporters for their behavior during the lost cup match against PSV (1-2). During Tuesday night’s game at sportpark De Westmaat, PSV’s Xavi Simons was regularly the target of verbal abuse.
The international was constantly, to the outrage of PSV and television viewers, heard the chant “Xavi Simons is gay” from Spakenburg fans. The club was even addressed by phone during the match about the verbal abuse, Eindhovens Dagblad reported.
Referee Jeroen Manschot left it up to Simons during the match whether play should continue. The 19-year-old striker, more often the target of verbal abuse from opposing supporters in the Netherlands, chose to play on.
Besides Simons, PSV executives in the stands at Spakenburg also had to deal with such texts and other curses.
We know roughly which corner this is coming from.
“We, too, noticed that there were talking points yesterday; we are not deaf. In such a case, the referee is leading in whether or not to stop the game,” Spakenburg chairman Marc Schoonebeek responded.
He says the second-division club will work to hold offenders accountable for their behavior. “We don’t have the technology to be able to look back at exactly who shouted what, but we know roughly what angle it came from,” Schoonebeek said. “We’re going to confront those guys with that and then something should come out of that.”
“We made it clear to PSV how uncomfortable we feel about this, because they thought it was outrageous. And we obviously don’t want this at all anymore either, because this is a stain on an otherwise successful soccer festival.”
The reaction of PSV midfielder Joey Veerman, by the way, made it clear that professional footballers, as wry as it may sound, are by now used to something in a soccer stadium. “When you’re on the field, you do get that some people are being a bit ugly to some players. I find that a bit childish, but well, that’s part of the game,” Veerman told Voetbal International.
In a reaction, the KNVB announced that it condemns the Spakenburg players’ behavior. It is unclear whether the soccer association will launch an investigation.
“It is up to the home playing club to intervene in case of disorderly conduct in their stadium,” the soccer association said. “After the match, the independent prosecutor can investigate whether this should have been done and what the arguments were. Then the prosecutor can decide to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the club. The extent to which the club is committed to tracking down perpetrators also plays a role in this.”
PSV wrote an angry letter to the KNVB following the events in Spakenburg. The club was especially angry because Simons was also confronted with anti-gay chants in the away match at FC Utrecht in mid-February.
PSV refused a 20,000 euro settlement offer to the KNVB earlier this season. The Eindhoven club had to pay that amount because of anti-Semitic speech chants during the match for the Johan Cruijff Schaal against Ajax.
The club felt that the KNVB was applying double standards and not taking action against homophobic speaking cries and therefore did not want to pay the fine. After a verdict by the disciplinary committee, the fine came to 12,500 euros.