Film screening and discussion to address racism in Dutch football07 July 2017

TheAmsterdam-basedinitiativePakhuisdeZwijgerisorganisingthefilmscreeningofthedocumentary‘ForeverPure’andadiscussiononracisminfootballaspartoftheirSummerscreenfilmprogramme‘Docubynight’.

‘Forever Pure’ is a documentary which follows events at Beitar Jerusalem FC, the only club in the Premier League never to sign an Arab player. In 2012, midway through the season the club’s owner, Arcadi Gaydamak, brought in two Muslim players from Chechnya in a secretive transfer deal that triggered the most racist campaign in Israeli sport and sent the club spiralling out of control.

The screening will take place on 20 July and will be preceded by a discussion on racism in Dutch football and ways of fighting it, led by the Fare member John Olivieira and Jurryt van de Vooren, sports journalist and founder of the sports website sportgeschiedenis.nl. The initiative will raise awareness on how racism almost destroyed the Israeli club and discuss incidents of the kind in Dutch football.

“Racism is unfortunately very present also in Dutch football” reads the description on the event’s Facebook page. “For example, in February 2016 an Ajax fan was caught on camera pretending to lynch Feyenoord goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer. In January of the same year the Ajax defender Riechedly Bazoer was subjected to monkey chants by a section of Ado Den Haag fans.”

Two other incidents of discrimination marked the same season, including the arrest of a FC Groningen fan for performing a Nazi salute and shouting racist words against an Ajax fan in February and in March the incident in which PSV Eindhoven fans were filmed in Madrid’s main plaza hurling coins onto the floor in front of several Roma women, and then cheering when the women picked up the money.

‘Docu by night’ is an outdoor cinema initiative that is screening nine documentaries on topics including environment and sustainability, racism and discrimination, diversity and LGBT inclusion, amongst others, that is aimed at promoting discussions and generating awareness. The screenings are ran in partnership with the Amsterdam International Documentary Festival.

Places are free but people must register here.