Things got so ignorantly ugly Tuesday at De Vliert stadium in the Netherlands that the match between FC Den Bosch and AZ Alkmaar was canceled.
Fox Soccer's Grant Wahl explains the reason:
Den Bosch-AZ game suspended after fans throw bottles, racist chants to Altidore, 2 players sent off (via @brendanhusebo). AZ was up 4-0.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) January 29, 2013
After warnings made over the stadium's PA system did not put an end to the disturbing behavior, the match, as The Penalty Spot tweeted, was called off:
The game between AZ Alkmaar and Ben Bosch has been abandoned after racist chanting was aimed at Jose Altidore.— The Penalty Spot (@ThePenaltySpot) January 29, 2013
AZ Alkmaar led 5-0 when this match was stopped in the 68th minute.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 9:14 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Den Bosch issued a statement on their official website branding those fans who abused him 'hooligans' and saying they had 'ruined the week-long preparation by the club, supporters and volunteers' to get the game on despite the bad weather.
They said the club was 'upset and disappointed' at the abuse which left 'scars' on the club.
---End of update---
UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 5:02 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
The Associated Press released a report that stating "referee Reinold Wiedemeijer wanted to stop the match in the first half 'because of jungle sounds chanted at Altidore.'"
However, Alitdore and other AZ players urged him not to. Below you can see video of Altidore motioning to the ref to keep the match going.
---End of update---
Through it all, American Jozy Altidore handled himself with amazing restraint, class and professionalism. He even notched a goal as he let his play do the talking.
Wahl adds the details:
And Jozy Altidore just responded to monkey chants by earning and converting a penalty. Nice.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) January 29, 2013
Initially, the match was briefly stopped as fans began chucking items onto the pitch to go along with the chants. Play was resumed, but the bad behavior did not subside.
Yet there was Altidore, looking past the ugliness and telling the refs to keep playing. Check out this amazing video:
It needs to be noted that this is just the actions of few among many. All the same, it is still an embarrassment for Den Bosch.
Soccer writer Kevin Oracolo passed along this comment from the director of Den Bosch
Director visibly angry and emotional. "I'm deeply hurt by these people. I'm ashamed of what just happened. I have no words for it." #FCDB— Kevin | Oracolo (@OracoloDiCalcio) January 29, 2013
This kind of behavior is unfortunately not new. Just last month, an Italian exhibition game saw AC Milan walk off the pitch after racist chants.
Here is to hoping this is not becoming a trend, and to commending Altidore for his inspiring behavior.