Turn in fans who humiliated street beggars, minister tells PSV

no image
No image availableNL Times

Health and Sport minister Edith Schippers wants the management of Dutch football club PSV Eindhoven to help Spanish authorities to track down the football fans who spent time aggressively taunting people begging for change on the streets of Madrid last March. She renewed her request just 12 days before the team is set to return to the city to face Atletico Madrid on Nov. 23.

The fans, several of whom were dressed in the team's clothing, made women do push-ups with their faces touching the ground while shouting insults at them before finally throwing change down on the street. The Romani women scrambling for change were cheered on by the football supporters.

Schippers wants PSV to hand over the names of any known supporters to Spanish authorities, saying that the Dutch government commited to assisting Spain in any judicial proceedings on the matter, according to RTL Niews. The Spanish prosecutor asked PSV for assistance last month but the club declined, the football team's chairman, Toon Gerbrands, told the Eindhovens Dagblad. Gerbrands said it is not known if he will be questioned in the case should he himself cross the Spanish border.

At the time of the incident, she told NOS that the situation was "really too disgusting for words," and demanding that those responsible be held accountable. Foreign Affairs minister Bert Koenders and Security and Justice minister Ard van der Steur concurred.

"They were treated like animals, and the women nearly struck each other and pushed each other for the coins to the laughter of the Dutch," Miguel Ángel Rendón, a professor at one area university, told Spanish newspaper El País in March. "And the last straw was when they threw hunks of bread," he added.

PSV was eliminated from Champions League competition due to the match. It ended in a 0-0 draw, with Atletico pulling through 8-7 on penalties. Right winger Luciano Narsingh was the only player to miss a shot from the spot.