Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

Dutch football club FC Den Bosch has apologized to AZ of Alkmaar's striker Jozy Altidore for the racist chanting he received from a small group of spectators during a match Tuesday.

Den Bosch director Peter Bijvelds also promised to bring the perpetrators behind the racist chants to justice, saying they "do not belong at De Vliert (the Den Bosch stadium) and will have the most severe sanctions imposed on them".

"The well-motivated people at this club cannot succeed in stopping and getting rid of the small group of malicious people," Bijvelds said. "But this has to happen, because the club cannot take much more".

The team also labeled those fans as "hooligans", adding they "ruined the week-long preparation by the club, supporters and volunteers to get the game on despite the bad weather."

Bijvelds said the incident left him deeply ashamed and disappointed, adding that the racist chants left "scars" on the club.

Referee Reinold Wiedemeijer stopped play when a small group of fans starting throwing monkey chants on 23-year-old Altidore.

However, Altidore requested the match to continue. He then scored from the penalty spot to lead Alkmaar to a 5-0 win.

The match was suspended briefly in the second half after ice was thrown at a linesman.

After the match, Altidore said he felt it was right to continue playing and not to respond to the insults.

"I feel like I have an obligation as a football player, to my club, to my family, to not react to things like this and to show that the club stands better than that, that I was raised better than to respond to such ridiculous behavior," Altidore said.

"It's a bit disappointing. You would hope that we as humanity can grow from these kind of times but at the end of the day, it's still alive, racism. All we can do is try to educate ourselves, and try to raise young kids to be better than that," he added.

 

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