Racist chants hurled at Jozy Altidore in cup game
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -AZ Alkmaar and United States striker Jozy Altidore was targeted by racist chants during a Dutch cup quarterfinal against second-tier FC Den Bosch on Tuesday, his club said.
"It is terribly sad that this can happen for those involved and for lovers of football in the Netherlands,'' AZ's director of football, Earnie Stewart, a former U.S. midfielder, told Dutch television's Eredivisie Live at halftime.
"You hear that and wonder what on earth is going on,'' he said.
Stewart said Den Bosch officials "are ashamed'' of the fans involved. The club repeatedly urged its fans to halt the chants, to no avail.
According to AZ's official twitter feed, referee Reinold Wiedemeijer wanted to stop the match in the first half "because of jungle sounds chanted at Altidore'' but AZ players, including Altidore, who is black, persuaded him not to.
Wiedemeijer halted play briefly in the second half because of fans throwing balls of ice at his linesmen, according to the Dutch Eredivisie official Twitter feed and Dutch news website Nu.nl.
The racism came just weeks after Dutch football authorities called for more respect in the game after players attacked and fatally injured a linesman officiating after a match between two youth teams near Amsterdam in December.
Altidore scored one goal as AZ won 5-0 to beat Den Bosch, which finished with nine men after having two players sent off.