Dutch soccer officials are turning a blind eye to anti-gay chants heard during the Netherlands’ recent match against Germany.
At multiple points during the friendly, the chant “All Germans are gay!” could be heard emanating from the crowd. The Netherlands and Germany tied 1-1 on March 29.
The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) states that clubs can tell fans to stop derogatory chants through the stadium loudspeaker, or referees can choose to pause the match. Neither happened in this case.
The KNVB says the chants were too infrequent to warrant an official response, according to the NL Times, an English news source out of the Netherlands.
“In this case, the stewards ensured that the chants were short-lived,” said a KNVB spokesperson. “Then you do not need to proceed to the next step of the protocol, having the stadium speaker ask people to stop. The question is whether such an announcement will have the desired effect at a time when the chants were dying down.”
Since Outsports wasn’t at the match, it’s impossible to tell whether the KNVB’s claim about the chants being just a cursory example of fan misbehavior is accurate. But we’ve seen the harm when soccer organizations don’t take a tough stance against anti-gay chants.
Last month, Mexico fans chanted “puto” towards the end of a World Cup qualifier.
Dutch soccer fans chanting “All Germans are gay!” might be viewed as an isolated incident today. But as we know, homophobia can spread rapidly if it’s left unchecked.