Racist chanting mars Dutch cup match
A Dutch cup match between Den Bosch and AZ Alkmaar was suspended for several minutes after repeated incidents of racist chanting at the ground, local media reported on Wednesday.
Fans of Den Bosch targeted AZ forward Jozy Altidore with monkey chants from the kick-off but despite requests from the stadium announcer, the insults continued in the second half.
The referee stopped the game on 55 minutes after snowballs were thrown at an assistant referee.
"I'm not going to fight these people. All I can do is pray for them," US attacker Altidore was quoted as saying by the Dutch news agency ANP after the quarter-final match, which AZ won 5-0.
AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek said he would have preferred the match to have been stopped much earlier because "the fourth official clearly heard monkey noises" while Den Bosch chairman Peter Bijevds described the chanting as "disgraceful".
"There are a lot of good people at our club. Unfortunately there are a small group of individuals who do us a lot of harm," he added.
Den Bosch have previously been sanctioned for the racist behaviour of some of their supporters, leading to 50 hooligans banned from their ground this season.
Bijvelds said: "Unfortunately we don't know how to do more about such behaviour. We're helpless. Football should be a vehicle for tolerance and doesn't need racist behaviour, particularly at the moment."
The incident comes after Dutch football was left reeling by the death of a linesman after he was beaten up after a youth match near Amsterdam last December.
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