Football fan’s Nazi salute leads to arrest at Groningen v. Ajax

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An FC Groningen fan was arrested on Sunday after flashing a Nazi salute at a fan of a visiting football club. The 21-year-old man was taken into by officers in Groningen who witnessed the incident, police there announced later in the day.

The incident took place shortly after the 11:30 a.m. match ended with visiting Amsterdam side AFC Ajax winning by a score of 1-2. More than 22,107 people at the Euroborg stadium saw Groningen fall short despite scoring a goal in extra time at the end of the game.

“After the match, our colleagues spotted a FC Groningen supporter throwing a Hitler salute and shouting racist slogans against an Ajax supporter,” police said. “During questioning, the man told that he had gotten caught up in the atmosphere between supporters of both clubs, but now, in retrospect, he is extremely sorry about it.”

A magistrate levied a 525 euro fine against the man in a hearing just after the arrest.

Fans of the Amsterdam team often refer to themselves as “The Jews” despite the team having no known historical connection to Jewish organizations or the religion. Opposing team fans often chant anti-Semitic remarks and songs against the Ajax fans because of this.

A Dutch non-profit organization attempted to sue Netherlands football association KNVB for doing too little to stop displays of anti-Semitism at football matches. A judge dismissed the claim in July 2014, and an appellate court affirmed the decision a year later.

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