Football

Officials to crack down on homophobic chants in Dutch league

League matches in the Netherlands will be stopped next season if fans repeatedly engage in homophobic chants, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) said on Monday.

From the start of the 2023/24 domestic campaign, stadium announcers will warn offending fans on two occasions to refrain from the offensive chants, after which the match will be temporarily halted if they continue.

Individuals found guilty of offensive behaviour face an 18-month stadium ban.

The decision was made at a meeting of all the professional clubs, where delegates were unanimous in voting for the measures.

“Football is for everyone. Together we have drawn a line. We will evaluate the steps we are taking now (at the end of the 2023/24 season) to see if they produce the desired result,” said Marianne van Leeuwen, KNVB director of professional football.

In April, fans of amateur side SV Spakenburg aimed homophobic chants at PSV Eindhoven’s Xavi Simons in a Dutch Cup game, while a section of fans chanted “all Germans are gay” during an international clash between the Netherlands and Germany in Amsterdam last year.

The English Football Association announced in January that it was adding homophobic slurs to its list of punishable offences for fans, while last month an international between the United States and Mexico was briefly stopped after fans of the latter directed slurs at U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner.

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