A group of about twenty people attacked a COC building in Eindhoven on Saturday night. This is reported by the interest group for LGBTI people. A COC volunteer was beaten and a rainbow flag hanging from the façade was ripped off and an attempt was made to set it on fire. The interest group is very fed up and hopes that stricter measures will be taken within the world of football against, among other things, anti-gay chants. “As long as you allow it, you will also normalize such behavior outside the stadium,” says COC Eindhoven president Benjamin Ector.

Profile picture of Lobke KapteijnsANP profile picture

Initially, the ANP reported that it would worry PSV supporters. But according to Ector, that is not known. “We don’t know, that’s why we didn’t mention which fans are involved in our press release. We knew they were football fans who went to a PSV game, because they themselves used the word PSV. But if it was Excelsior – if the supporters of PSV will go, we don’t know.”

The event occurred around seven in the evening, an hour before the PSV game began. At that time there was a youth meeting for young people up to eighteen in the COC building on Prins Hendrikstraat.

According to Ector, between 10 and 15 minors watched the group intimidatingly walk past the building, tear off the flag and beat it. They also yelled swear words like ‘gay cancer’.

“What started out as a normal and pleasant meeting turned into a real hell.”

When a volunteer confronted the group about this, he received a blow to the head. According to the president, the incident did not last long. “They walked down the street, it didn’t seem like a deliberate action. But as soon as they saw the rainbow flag, they ripped it off.”

The children who saw him go by are very scared, Ector reports. “What started out as a normal and pleasant meeting turned into a real hell.”

According to Ector, the damage to the building is ultimately not that serious. The flag pole bracket is broken and the flag is missing. According to him, the beaten volunteer is fine given the circumstances. “The blow was not so strong afterwards, it seems that he has not suffered any permanent damage.”

On Sunday afternoon, the COC reported it to the police and the incident was also reported to the anti-racism agency RADAR. Meanwhile, he has made contact with the municipality. A police spokesman could not confirm the story. The municipality’s spokesman was also not aware of it on Sunday.

“As long as anti-gay chants are allowed, that behavior is normalized. Someone has to say: here is the red line.”

COC Eindhoven has invited the municipality of Eindhoven, the KNVB and PSV to a discussion on safety around competitions and on stopping anti-gay chants.

“Anti-gay chants could also be heard in Spakenburg last week. We prefer that the perpetrators be dealt with properly. As long as anti-gay chants are allowed, such behavior outside the stadium is also normalized. Someone has to say: here’s the red line. Someone has to take that first step,” Ector said.

It also went wrong with football fans in Eindhoven on Friday. Forty PEC Zwolle supporters hurled stones and street furniture at the police after the away game against FC Eindhoven. They also attacked youths who were playing soccer at a nearby hockey field. At Helmond Sport, a match was stopped the same night after fireworks were launched on the football pitch.

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