A popular Dutch network has been criticised for including offensive chants in the soundtrack used for the first half of a recent football game.
With COVID-19 prevention measures in place, professional sporting events are being held in empty stadiums in The Netherlands and many television stations are consequently using pre-recorded audience sound when broadcasting games to simulate the usual atmosphere.
In FOX Sports Netherlands’ live broadcast of the 4th October match between Amsterdam team Ajax and a rival team from Groningen, the network used recordings from previous games that included the well-known chant, “Whoever doesn’t jump is a Jew!”.
Supporters of rival teams use the chant to taunt and mock Ajax players and fans. Ajax is a team that many fans label “the Jews” because of Amsterdam’s rich Jewish history and the club’s long association with the Jewish community. However, the designation is used not only against Ajax by also by the team’s own supporters; at many football matches, Ajax fans have been seen waving Israeli flags and shouting support for “the Jews” and Jewish immigrants as a proxy for showing support for the team.
A young Dutch rival supporter told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2017 that: “I have nothing against your people. When I say I hate Jews, I just mean supporters of Ajax.”
In recent years, however, the derogatory chant has also been heard at several Islamist and neo-Nazi rallies and protests in the country.
Following public criticism, FOX Sports Netherlands apologised for the “human error” that led to the inclusion of the chant in its soundtrack for the game and the network says that it has removed the fragment for future events. FOX News Netherlands wrote on Twitter: “We offer our sincere apologies and are looking into how this could have happened and how to make sure it does not recur.”