European football’s governing body, though, stopped short of launching a formal investigation, saying it had not received a formal complaint from the Dutch football federation (KNVB).
The revelations, which follow comments published yesterday from team captain Mark van Bommel in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, could not have come at a worse time for Euro 2012 organisers. Co-hosts Poland and Ukraine have already been forced to reject claims that racist violence is rife at their football grounds.
Van Bommel was quoted as saying: “We all heard the monkey chants. We can’t accept that. We reacted well (coach Bert van Marwijk took them to the other side of the pitch) and the situation was sorted.”
But he warned: “If any of us is targeted by monkey chants during our matches we won’t accept it. If we hear anything like that during a game, I’ll immediately go to the referee to ask him to intervene.” He also hit out at anyone who chooses to ignore racist chants. “You need to open your ears. If you hear them but don’t want to hear them, that’s worse,” he said.