It was a beautiful day for soccer in the Dutch town of Utrecht. Spring sunshine filled the stadium as the local team, FC Utrecht, kicked off against perennial powerhouse Ajax Amsterdam.
As the beautiful game slowly played out on the field, however, things in the stands quickly got ugly.
“Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas,” sang a section of the home supporters towards the fans visiting from Amsterdam, a city historic in part for its Jewish community. “My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews, because Jews burn the best!”
The anti-Semitism was caught on video and quickly circulated among Dutch media. FC Utrecht issued an apology as Jewish organizations demanded action by soccer authorities.
The shocking chants weren’t an isolated incident, however. Instead, they were the latest in a string of anti-Semitic episodes that threaten to mar European soccer.