According to professor Gijsbert Oonk, racism in Dutch football is not new. “In 1992, a few matches were stopped because of racist incidents,” said Oonk. “But the fact that racism is now openly condemned, is relatively new.” He mentions FC Den Bosch as an example, where extreme right-wing expressions of the public reached the football field last weekend.
The denial regarding this problem is over, said Oonk. “Now we can no longer say that the racists are not real supporters and actually don’t belong to the clubs.” According to Oonk, a number of football clubs, such as Feyenoord, FC Utrecht and AZ, use a new communication strategy to tackle racism. They ask the supporters to help them find the solution. “They do this, for example, by arranging better fan coaching,” said Oonk. “Each club has its own museum in which they can establish the relationship between society and football.”
Gijsbert Oonk is professor of Europe in Globalizing World: Migration, Citizenship and Identity. He investigates the relationship between sport, nationality and loyalty.