‘Enough Is Enough’: Amsterdam Bans PSV Fans From Ajax Match Over Antisemitic Chants
Fans of the PSV Eindhoven soccer club will not be permitted by municipal authorities in Amsterdam to enter the Johan Cruijff Arena when their team travels there to play rival Ajax on Nov. 6, due to antisemitic chants heard at a previous PSV-Ajax match in the Dutch capital last month, the NL Times reported.
In a letter to PSV General Manager Marcel Brands, Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema noted that at the July 30th game, a 5-3 PSV victory, a large group of PSV supporters sang “hurtful songs and very unsavory curses,” and directed “serious insults” at several Ajax players.
“Enough is enough,” Mayor Halsema wrote in the letter, also issued in the name of the police and Public Prosecution Service. “Despite frequent warnings, the Amsterdam [authorities] have not noticed any improvement in the behavior of your supporters in recent years. The warning period is now over.”
Antisemitic slogans heard at PSV-Ajax matches in the past five years have included, among others — “All Jews must die,” “Together they burn Jews, because Jews burn best,” and “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.”
Although Ajax has no formal ties with the Dutch Jewish community, it has long been seen as having Jewish roots, and its fans have adopted Jewish symbols such as the Star of David and Israeli flag.
In response to Halsema’s decision, a PSV spokesperson stated, “We can do nothing but accept this. We also do not want such things to be said. We understand why Ms. Halsema has reacted in this way. It is a shame that the good supporters have to again suffer because of the bad ones.”
“Let’s hope that general awareness will now set in,” the spokesperson added. “Cheering on our own players gives those players a boost. But it doesn’t help them if rivals are insulted. It doesn’t have a positive effect on their game.”