Fans of Dutch football team Vitesse chanted "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas" at a rally ahead of a scheduled game against Amsterdam-based Ajax, a team known for its history of Jewish supporters, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on Monday.
Police have started examining surveillance camera footage from the evening in Arnhem where the Vitesse team is based. Both teams played on Sunday with Ajax winning the match 2-1.
Ajax supporters and rivals often affectionately refer to the club and its fans as "Jews," due to the centuries-old strong presence of the Jewish community in Amsterdam.
But in the Netherlands, the slogan "Hamas, Jews to the gas" has become more common in recent years, according to JTA.
Director of the Vitesse team, Pascal van Wijk, denounced the chants in a statement to Dutch media.
“It is just deeply saddening that a small group of supporters misbehaved in such a way,” said van Wijk, quoted by the Gederlander news site.
In 2011, former ADO Den Haag midfielder Lex Immers, who currently plays for Dutch first division side NAC Breda, was caught on camera chanting "we're going to hunt for Jews" at a bar along with fans after playing against Ajax.
Immers, who scored one of the goals in ADO's 3–2 win over the Amsterdam outfit, later issued an apology for the incident, saying he was "unaware of the [chant's] offensive tone to an entire nation."
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.