Royal Dutch Football Association to crack down on homophobic slurs in Dutch league

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The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced on Monday that if fans in the Netherlands repeatedly participate in homophobic chants during league matches, the matches will be suspended in the upcoming season. 

Starting from the 2023/24 domestic campaign, stadium announcers will issue two warnings to fans engaging in offensive chants, and if they persist, the match will be temporarily paused.

People who are convicted of offensive behavior will be prohibited from entering stadiums for a period of 18 months. This ruling was established during a gathering of all the professional clubs, where representatives unanimously voted in favor of implementing these measures.

“Football is for everyone. Together we have drawn a line. We will evaluate the steps we are taking now (at the end of the 2023/24 season) to see if they produce the desired result,” said Marianne van Leeuwen, KNVB director of professional football.

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In April, supporters of amateur team SV Spakenburg directed homophobic chants towards Xavi Simons of PSV Eindhoven during a Dutch Cup match. 

Similarly, during an international match between the Netherlands and Germany in Amsterdam last year, a group of fans chanted “all Germans are gay.” In January, the English Football Association announced that it would now consider homophobic slurs as punishable offenses for fans. 

Additionally, last month, a match between the United States and Mexico was momentarily halted due to derogatory slurs aimed at US goalkeeper Matt Turner by Mexican fans.

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