Homophobic chants against PSV’s Xavi Simons should not be ignored, foundation says

Fans of amateur football club SV Spakenburg should have been addressed for their homophobic chants targetting PSV footballer Xavi Simons during the Dutch Cup semifinal on Tuesday. Spakenburg hosted the televised match, and fans could be heard chanting, “Xavi Simons is homo,” which translates to “Xavi Simons is gay.” PSV won the match, 2-1.

The board of the John Blankenstein Foundation said it was disappointed that no action was taken on Tuesday evening during the match. “Supporters can at least be held accountable for their behavior,” said the foundation, which is committed to the acceptance of people from the LGBTI community in sports.

Simons was repeatedly confronted with the chants from the Spakenburg supporters, the same as what happened six weeks ago in his team’s 2-2 draw at FC Utrecht. Simons opted not to spend too much time discussing the incident after the match at Spakenburg.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game and the fans would get into it,” Simons said. He expressed more annoyance about the recent criticism of PSV suggesting they are “too weak as a team.”

It was not the first incident that prompted the John Blankenstein Foundation to say that now is the time for officials to interrupt competitions when such chants happen. This pushes people to think about the situation, the organization said.

“The match was attended by 6,300 supporters yesterday and no fewer than 1.4 million people saw the game on TV. They could also clearly hear the chants. “As long as nothing is done about this behavior, the climate in the football world will remain unsafe for LGBTI people. More decisiveness from the KNVB and the clubs themselves is needed,” the foundation said in a statement.

Reporting by ANP

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