11 Feyenoord fans arrested for homophobic slogans on alderman's home, threats, arson
The police arrested 11 “hardcore” Feyenoord supporters on Friday for threat, insult, intimidation, and arson. They are accused of displaying threatening banners in Tirana, vandalizing a Rotterdam alderman’s home with homophobic slogans, and setting fire to a gym belonging to the president of the Roze Kameraden - a group of LGBTQIA+ Feyenoord supporters.
The banners in Tirana in May last year featured insults and death threats directed at Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, his daughter, and Paul van Dorst, the chairman of the Roze Kameraden. Van Dorst also had his gym vandalized and set on fire. And homophobic slogans were spray-painted on LeefbaarRotterdam alderman Robert Simons’ home.
The suspects arrested on Friday are between the ages of 21 and 36 and from Rotterdam, The Hague, Arnemuiden, Uden, and Rijswijk.
“It concerns minor offenses from a legal point of view, public order offenses such as vandalism or insult. But they are offenses with a huge impact. Your home is your safe haven. If that is completely covered with discriminatory and threatening texts, it does a lot to your sense of security,” the police said.
The suspects are also linked to other football-related crimes, including an anti-Semitic mural of footballer Steven Berghuis, a young Groningen supporter robbed of his pants who had to go home without them, and a brick thrown through the window of a Vlaardingen press photographer.
Last year, the police already arrested 45 suspects in connection with these crimes. They didn’t report the arrests in the interest of the investigation. “But now it is time to send a clear signal to people who make football unsafe: your behavior is unacceptable. We are on top of it,” the police said.
In addition to criminal prosecution, the KNVB is also investigating whether it can ban these suspects from football stadiums in the Netherlands.