Goalkeeper wants investigation into lynching threats; Dutch PM angered
For the second time in a week, Feyenoord goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer will file an official complaint and request police to investigate threats made against him suggesting he should be lynched. Spectators at a darts competition in Newcastle, England, and broadcast live in the Netherlands on RTL 7, were seen holding signs stating, “Kenneth must hang!” and “Vermeer NSB,” possibly meant to liken Vermeer to a Nazi collaborator. Through Feyenoord, Vermeer announced he will make a former declaration about the incident to British police. The team said it will provide the player with necessary legal support as well. “Why would you choose these kinds of negative, energy-sucking actions?” Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte asked at his weekly press conference. He called the threats against Vermeer both “nauseating” and “objectionable.” He said he chose not to comment on the issue before for fear of encouraging others to make similar outbursts. “A cowardly action apparently by football fans,” an RTL 7 spokesman told newspaper AD. “We are completely distancing ourselves from the text shown. It’s a shame for the sport in general that this is happening,” she added. The Amsterdam-born footballer, 20, developed with the youth programme at Ajax before getting permission to sign a four-year deal at their Rotterdam rival. This prompted one 26-year-old Ajax fan to lynch an effigy of Vermeer when Ajax played in Feyenoord a week ago. The fan received a permanent football stadium ban, and he was briefly kept in custody while police investigated it as a threat. Vermeer also made a formal statement to authorities in that case.