Paris, 12 May 2019

In a letter to Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President, Mr. Aleksander Čeferin, Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels expressed shock at “the constant recidivism of the antisemitic behaviour of Feyenoord Rotterdam football Club of the Netherlands.”

The letter noted that:

“In November 2016, an Israeli sponsor of the Club was invited to a match where he heard fans chanting: ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!’ Determined to annul his sponsorship, an arbitration committee heard Feyenoord’s defence: ‘The chant was not antisemitic, but anti-Ajax Amsterdam" - A Team traditionally supported by Jews before the Holocaust.’

“In October 2017, Feyenoord fans used the photo of children - a five year and a two year old - wearing the Star of David in Lithuania during World War II, who were then murdered after the photo was taken, to taunt their rival club.”

“We had protested to Feyenoord football Club management.”

Samuels continued: “On 5 May, last week’s ‘Netherlands Liberation Day from Nazi Occupation’, thugs wearing Feyenoord tee-shirts assaulted a 35 year old Jewish man, after he protested their chant: ‘My father was in the commandos, my mother in the SS, together they burned Jews, because Jews burn the best!’..." 

"Police on the scene reportedly did not intervene.”

The Centre urged UEFA “to take the strongest disciplinary measures as, apparently, the Dutch Football Association is unable to control Feyenoord’s reputation sinking further, as their fans continue the hatefest.”

“Mr. President, our Centre has a project together with the Organization of American States (OAS) comprising 35 member-states, as also with the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism (ECCAR) with 158 member-cities, including Rotterdam ."...“The programme is entitled ‘11 Points against Racism in Football.’ We would be delighted to share this with UEFA,” concluded Samuels.

The letter was shared with Benedetto Zacchiroli, President of ECCAR.