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Vandals paint swastikas on buildings in Amsterdam

February 22, 2019
A Swastika, painted on the wall of the Stedelijk Museum overnight, is seen in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. Vandals suspected of being football hooligans from The Hague have daubed graffiti including swastikas and anti-Semitic texts on buildings in Amsterdam. The graffiti were discovered Friday, ahead of a match Sunday between ADO and Amsterdam powerhouse Ajax. Ajax fans are banned from attending the match following previous clashes between fans of the two clubs. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A Swastika, painted on the wall of the Stedelijk Museum overnight, is seen in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. Vandals suspected of being football hooligans from The Hague have daubed graffiti including swastikas and anti-Semitic texts on buildings in Amsterdam. The graffiti were discovered Friday, ahead of a match Sunday between ADO and Amsterdam powerhouse Ajax. Ajax fans are banned from attending the match following previous clashes between fans of the two clubs. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Vandals suspected of being soccer hooligans from The Hague have painted graffiti including swastikas and anti-Semitic texts on buildings in Amsterdam.

The graffiti was discovered Friday, ahead of Sunday’s Dutch league match between ADO The Hague and Ajax, which is based in Amsterdam.

Ajax is often portrayed as a club with historic links to Amsterdam’s Jewish community.

A statue in Amsterdam that commemorates a general strike in 1941 to protest the rounding up of Jews by Nazi occupiers of the city during World War II was vandalized with green and yellow paint — the colors of ADO The Hague.

ADO director Mattijs Manders said in a statement that the club and its leadership “strongly reject these incomprehensible acts. It is disrespectful and sad.”

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag also condemned the graffiti.

“Rivalry in soccer is fine,” he said. “But you have to treat one another with respect.”

Ajax fans have been banned from attending matches at ADO since 2006, when hooligans from Amsterdam attacked a group of ADO fans, injuring several of them.

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