Anti-LGBTQ attack on Rotterdam gym
A fire was set in the night from Saturday to Sunday at the gym of the founder of Feyenoord supporters' association Roze Kameraden in Rotterdam. The outside was also covered with anti-LGBTQ+ texts.
According to regional broadcaster Rijnmond, it concerns the gym of Paul van Dorst, the chairman of the supporters' association that was recently founded. Van Dorst said in a message on Twitter that he is "extremely shocked and upset" by what happened. "Arson, intimidation and threats against me and the other directors of the Rose Kameraden. Fortunately, the police and the municipality acted quickly and adequately." Van Dorst continued: "This just shows that there is still a very long way to go."
The police received a report of a fire at the gym on Brielselaan around 00:30 a.m. Several reporters heard a bang and something was said to have been thrown against the roller shutter, which started the fire. The police assume it was intentional and are investigating. Van Dorst said he will file a report on Monday.
Feyenoord distanced itself from the violence and intimidation. "To start with, this is sad and I assume that every sane person thinks so," said a spokesperson for the Rotterdam club. "Our position is clear, Feyenoord is of and for everyone. We have 2 million fans, it is almost impossible to be more inclusive. There's a bit of everything, everyone is welcome. But without wanting to downplay it, we do not know who the perpetrators are and whether there are 2 or 50 of them," said the spokesperson. The club said it is waiting for the police investigation, but will also soon have a meeting with the supporters' association. "That was planned before this happened," he said.
Earlier, COC Nederland called on the football club to respond. "What to do with these kinds of figures who go so far in their hatred that the commit arson at supporters of the same football club," COC chairman Astrid Oosenbrug wondered. "This hate crime must be tackled harshly by the police and the judiciary, but also by Feyenoord. If it were indeed Feyenoord supporters who committed this cowardly act, Feyenoord must send a strong signal with a stadium ban showing that within the club and Legion there is no place for homophobia."
According to Oosenbrug, this is the second attack on the LGBTQ+ community in a few days after the fire in a student apartment building in Amsterdam-West. "I expect that Rutte and Kaag now also feel the urgency and will implement the action plan against anti-LGBTQ+ violence presented by the Minister of Security and Justice last year."
Roze Kameraden aims to "promote LGBTQ+ acceptance among football fans and in particular Feyenoord fans and to combat discrimination," reads the association's website.
Reporting by ANP.