Beerschot call for calm after insulting chants but claim Lierse's Eiji Kawashima wasn't blameless

Lierse's goalkeeper was subject to crude chants about the Japanese natural disaster from fans of the Antwerp club in a league game which had to be halted on Friday
Belgian club Beerschot AC have admitted their fans crossed the line with insulting chants directed at Lierse keeper Eiji Kawashima in a Pro League clash on Friday but claim the Japanese provoked the situation.

Kawashima was subject to abuse from the away Beerschot fans who chanted "Kawashima-Fukushima, Kawashima-Fukushima" in reference to Japan's nuclear crisis following the March 11 natural disaster which hit the East Asian nation.

The Japanese keeper was left emotional by the chants and the officiating referee called the game to a halt during the second-half due to the situation.

Beerschot released a club statement this week where they outlined their stance on the incident.

"Beerschot distance themselves from the behaviour of some of its fans during Friday evening's away game against Lierse," the statement said.

"Our fans have crossed a thin line where a bit of fun turns into something serious. The chants aimed at Lierse goalkeeper Kawashima were offensive and completely out of order."

However, the statement continued by claiming Kawashima was also culpable for the incident as he provoked the fans.

"On the other hand, Beerschot also conclude that the incident that eventually led to suspending the game was a result of provocative behaviour from both sides," the statement said.

"The Lierse shot-stopper also took part in this as he provoked the Beerschot fans with offensive gestures and facial expressions. Our own goalkeeper Stijn Stijnen on the other hand never reacted to abusive chants and insults from the Lierse faithful."

"Nonetheless, Beerschot like to emphasise that it's completely unacceptable to insult the victims and kins of survivors from these kinds of disasters.

"The club call for serenity and calm and plead for a consequent and straightforward approach to deal with these kinds of problems."

Translation by Stefan Coerts