Min. not blaming Moroccans for football violence, but says pundit has a point

Edith Schippers (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commonst)Edith Schippers (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commonst)

Health and Sport Minister Edith Schippers thinks that football commentator Johan Derksen touched on a "real problem" when he said that some football clubs are facing problems because of Moroccan players. "We have to address everyone, all incidents. But you can not deny that these incidents happen far more at a number of clubs than at other clubs", she said to NOS on Friday.

On Monday Derksen said on Voetbal Inside that some football clubs  "went to shit because their fields are in a neighborhood where many Moroccan families live. Moroccan players then get the upper hand in the selection and that works almost nowhere. Dutch boys go to other clubs. They do not want to work with nine Moroccan boys and not dare to shower in their bare ass.”

Schippers feels that the real question is what to do about the problems some of these clubs are facing and how to solve them. "Together with the sport and with the police and the Public Prosecutor we have a project called Safe Sport Climate. I have extended that, because we really want to look into it. It is not only in the teams, but often also in the boards of a number of sports clubs."

Derksen's remarks caused quite a commotion. Deputy Prime Minister already stated that Derksen is free to comment on problems, but excluding Moroccans from football is definitely racist. And former KNVB director Paul Verweel called the statements "absolute nonsense". "This statement is based on a few experiences. It is not a general phenomenon", he said to the Volkskrant on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the KNVB also told the Telegraaf that the football union does not register incidents based on race or ethnicity. "Every player that crosses the line is addressed."