Dutch prosecutor to look into social media racism directed at Oranje players18 November 2014

TheDutchpublicprosecutor(OM)isinvestigatingaseriesofracistreactionsdirectedatOranjeplayers,astheDutchnationalfootballteamiscommonlyknown,afterQueensParkRangersF.C.andDutchinternationalLeroyFerpostedagroup‘selfie’ofhimselfwithothereightplayers.

After the preliminary study, in which the OM collects the facts, a decision on possible prosecution will be taken.

The decision comes after the Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) contacted the public prosecutor to look into the social media racist abuse and investigate the response for possible crimes.

KNVB is said to have waited until after Sunday’s EURO 2016 Qualifier against Latvia before making their decision, to prevent unnecessary distractions among teammates.

“The KNVB finds the response to the selfie Leroy Fer took to be distasteful. Football is for everyone, and the Dutch team rightly connects many Dutch people to each other,” the association wrote in a statement.

Leroy Fer responds to the abuse
Last Friday Leroy Fer posted a photo, taken by his teammate Memphis Depay, on Instagram and Twitter. The photo was picked up and repeatedly shared, with floods of responses likening the nine players to both Zwarte Piet (‘black Pete’) and monkeys.

Dutch football and politics promptly condemned the responses.

Robin van Persie, the Dutch captain, expressed his anger and dismay at the racist comments calling for those making the comments to be prosecuted.

“It is shocking that such a thing still happens in 2014”, said the Manchester United striker. “This should be dealt with harshly. It’s time to set an example.”

“We can not let this pass. Color should not matter. We represent our country all together, but apart from that it is very sad that this is happening.” he added.

On the incident Leroy Fer said: “I cannot imagine this occurs in 2014 in the Netherlands,

“The comments hurt me deeply. I am sad and disappointed at the same time. I feel like people want to say that I do not belong in the Dutch national team. These fans probably produced the loudest cheer when I scored at the World Cup against Chile.”

Leroy Fer