Over 150 Dutch soccer fans arrested over antisemitic songs on way to game
Local media says detainees are supporters of AZ Alkmaar who were at metro station on way to match against Jewish-associated club Ajax Amsterdam
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch police arrested more than 150 soccer fans Saturday after they chanted antisemitic slogans while on their way to a game in Amsterdam.
The incident happened at a metro station close to the capital’s Johan Cruijff ArenA, home of Ajax Amsterdam, at around 7:30 p.m. local time, police said in a statement.
“Police arrested 154 soccer supporters this evening for singing antisemitic songs on a subway,” police said.
“Supporters were asked several times to stop singing” before action was taken, they added. Officers arrested them on public insult charges.
Police did not identify the supporters’ club, but Ajax, currently third in the Eredivisie standings behind Feyenoord and PSV, was facing fourth-lying AZ Alkmaar.
Local news station AT5 said those arrested were AZ supporters.
The game ended in a 0-0 draw.
Opponents of Ajax often refer to the club as “The Jews,” and it is associated with Amsterdam’s large Jewish population before they were deported to Nazi death camps during World War II.
Ajax also had several Jewish chairmen and players in the 1960s and 70s, including greats like former Dutch national skipper Bennie Muller and Sjaak Swart.
But the term “The Jews” has often been turned into a term of antisemitic abuse by opponents.
Dutch soccer authorities last month vowed to clamp down on growing incidents of bad behavior and hooliganism by fans after one of Ajax’s players was injured when hit on the head by a lighter thrown by a Feyenoord supporter.