However, on Friday, the appeals commission acquitted Bruges. Attorney Hannes D’Hoop explained that the chants were not discriminatory, nor were they aimed at offending Jews or homosexuals, but the perception was negative.
While the Pro League recently beefed up federal rules on racism and chants, the Appeals Commission on complaints upheld the club’s arguments. “The chants ought to be viewed as neutral and inoffensive,” it said. “The terms used simply indicate a sexual orientation or a population group. The word ‘Jewish’ has no derogatory or discriminatory connotation, nor does the word ‘homo’,” the Commission stated in its verdict.
Bruges had hit the news in December 2018, when a video dating back to its victory against Anderlecht in late August showed a small group of fans shouting anti-Semitic chants and a video of a song on “the destruction of the Jews” was circulated on the Internet.