Soccer / gervinho
Ultras: Jews and Decapitated Heads in the Netherlands. Part 4
When the board of directors of Ajax from Amsterdam decided to prematurely retire Johan Cruyff in the mid 80s, there were many people who believed that the Skinny One will never play again in a big club, but they were wrong. The fans were right about one thing. There were few chances that would allow Johan to end up playing in Feyenoord shirt. However, a rebellious spirit of the national team’s historic number 14 drove him to sign a contract with the biggest rival of the team from the Netherlands capital. No matter what an excellent level the player demonstrated in the last season, that decision hurt a huge part of Ajax’s most radical fans. They had never imagined that the biggest gem in the club’s history would end up scoring goals for their enemies from Rotterdam. But where does this bad blood between the clubs stem from? Matches between Ajax and Feyenoord are known as De Klassieker. It’s a matter of a confrontation, in which the biggest cultural and social differences between Amsterdam and Rotterdam come to the fore. The ultras from both teams have been involved in historic altercations, famous get-togethers in the 90s that took place on the road halfway between the cities. After these blood brawls, in which fists of steel were mingled with baseball bats, there were myriads of injured and one supporter even lost his life. Ajax began its activity with clear links to the Jewish village. That’s why the fans started to associate the Star of David and Israel’s flag with the club’s symbols. However, the board of directors asked their fans to stop using emblems of such types so it would put an end to antisemitic chants, which sometimes the players heard. This ambiguity in the club’s real identity was always used by Feyenoord’s radical fans as a weapon of war. The truth is that Rotterdam was destroyed by Nazis’ bombs during the Second World War, but those tragedies didn’t prevent the grandchildren of those people from causing violence on some battlefields. We’re referring to a group known as “Don’t run away”, the most dangerous gang that are regulars at De Kuip. They have been known since the 70s and their actions wreaked havoc in numerous Feyenoord´s trips around Europe. They were even isolated in cages in their own stadium. The classical Dutch football is among the biggest ones and it continues to bother local authorities, but at the same time recently Feyenoord´s radical fans have been appearing in the news due to the acts of vandalism in Rome and the infamous incident of throwing an inflatable banana at Gervinho. The thing is that generally the fans from Central European countries have always been among the most extreme ones. On the one hand, they have been known for their excellent behaviour and fair play, big unions among fan groups. But on the other hand, those ultras have been involved in the most disgraceful acts of violence that took place not only in the Netherlands. In neighbouring Belgium, for example, Standard Liege´s ultras demonstrated their exuberant support in an awful way of drawing an image of decapitated ex-player Defour. His transfer to their eternal rival, Anderlecht, caused anger of some fans, who showed their bad character on many occasions. Benelux’s wisdom remains in doubt when it comes to their ultras. Click here to read other parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Source: El Enganche
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