The debate comes after Ajax defender Ricechedly Bazoer was subject to monkey chants by a section of Ado Den Haag fans on Sunday (17 January). A section of the crowd abused Bazoer whenever he had the ball, the stadium announcer repeatedly asked the supporters to stop the abuse, but no further action was taken.
‘We would have supported Ajax’ says FA
The KNVB have said they would have accepted it if Ajax or their defender had stopped the match even though it is against protocol. According to KNVB rules, the decision to suspend or call off a match officially lies with the home club, the referee can only stop the game if the person being insulted can no longer continue.
Director of KNVB Operations Gijs de Jong said, “In this case we would have accepted it if Riechedly Bazoer, Ajax or referee Pol van Boeken had walked off the field. If they showed not to accept this, they would not have been… supported in all respects.”
‘Values and norms over rules’
PSV Eindhoven director Toon Gerbrands commented on the KNVB reaction on Twitter, “Strong statement from the KNVB regarding the events in The Hague. Values and norms are always more important than rules. A proper vision”.
Gerbrands said that he usually never interferes with other clubs, “But this is important for all professional clubs. Especially since there is confusion.
“Without wanting to accuse ADO Den Haag, I think the responsibility lies with the home club. If a match is not stopped at PSV, while there is clearly racism, anyone can point the finger at me. But it is important that there is now space for players, coaches and referees if they feel that the officials aren’t taking proper action.”
KNVB spokesperson Hans van Kastelen told that De Jong’s words should be interpreted as a signal to the clubs themselves. “Indicate as club or player to the referee that you do not want to play football this way. Then the referee can take steps”, he said, adding that the KNVB cannot take part in the decision to stop a match.
“Just a few years ago we decided to give this decision to the home club. It is their home, their supporters. In addition it also has an organizational side. The police must be prepared if all supporters leave the stadium early.”
‘Take action based on common sense’ says Menzo
Former Ajax player Stanley Menzo backed KNVB and added: “Protocols are created behind a desk. With racism you should take action based on common sense and feeling. Perhaps this is the moment to adapt protocol, because it is clear that the home team often has other interests than an away team.”
ADO Den Haag have announced they will investigate the incident.