Lynching of black footballer effigy leads to arrest, anger

Kenneth Vermeer (Photo: Paulblank/Wikimedia Commons)Kenneth Vermeer (Photo: Paulblank/Wikimedia Commons)

An Ajax supporter was arrested after the Ajax vs Feyenoord match in the Amsterdam ArenA on Sunday for lynching a black-skinned doll wearing a jersey with the name of Feyenoord player Kenneth Vermeer. Ajax also imposed a stadium ban on the supporter, the Amsterdam team announced after the match, NU reports.

"We don't have to see him here for the time being", a spokesperson for Ajax said, calling the incident a "very distasteful action". Vermeer was also the target of discriminatory chants during the match. The stadium announcer asked the public to stop the chants.

Dutch football association called the match, which Ajax won 2-1, a good match "with unfortunately also a low point". KNVB director for professional football Bert van Oostveen wants to have a discussion with the Dutch clubs' supporters associations soon. He feels it necessary after the three recent incidents. He called the incident in the ArenA "disgusting and unacceptable" on Twitter following the match on Sunday. "The events after the winter are simply bad for our football."

According to Van Oostveen, Sunday's incident indicates a social problem. "There were 50 thousand people around the man. Not all of them saw it, but some did. You do not simply walk into the stadium with a 30 meter clot and doll under your arm." he said to broadcaster NOS. "We all call it a disgrace, and rightly so, but we must also all do something about it together. We have a common responsibility: the clubs, the KNVB, the government and society as well."

Two weeks ago ADO Den Haag supporters made jungle sounds whenever Ajax player Riechedly Bazoer had the ball. Feyenoord players Michiel Kramer and Marko Vejinovic were threatened at their homes by Feyenoord supporters. "Each of these incidents greatly harm football", Van Oostveen said to broadcaster NOS. "We have a relatively calm first half year behind us, but now it comes back in an intensified form. We have to discuss this."