Why 0-4 bolwashing did not stop Antwerp fans (on the contrary): "We are also there when things don't go well"

The Antwerp legion left a lot of mouths open last weekend. Despite the biggest panic in almost twenty years at the Bosuil, an arsenal of minutes-long deafening chants followed, which effortlessly silenced the celebrating Anderlecht supporters. “We have had many beautiful moments in recent years. Now as a supporter say ‘do it all on your own‘ does not belong to this club”, reacts the Federation of Antwerp Supporters Clubs (FASC) proudly on the special scenes of Sunday evening.

Diederik Geypen

Anyone who thought that after the three Brussels goals would escalate in just seven minutes, was wrong. Not the partying away fans from Anderlecht could be heard, but only those from Antwerp. And how. With a singing time of at least half an hour, the home audience took control of the played part. The chants echoed through the stadium without interruption, it even seemed as if Antwerp was winning. “At that moment we could do two things: count down to the final whistle or show that we are there for the team,” said Dominik Van Landeghem, spokesman for the FASC, looking back.

The supporters opted for the latter. In no time, the rhythmic ‘Royal Antwerp Football Club’ rolled off all home benches. “It is a catchy cry that is quickly picked up and everyone picks up,” continues Van Landeghem. “I still remember a home defeat against Genk in 2017 (3-5, ed.), when Tribune 2 was still full. Even then the whole stadium chanted ‘Royal Antwerp Football Club’ for minutes and lights went on everywhere. ‘Je n’ai jamais vu ça’, reacted an always stoic Laszlo Bölöni afterwards full of enthusiasm. I experienced that kick again on Sunday.”

Here is inserted content from a social media network that wants to write or read cookies. You have not given permission for this.

The chants soon pushed the rebellion – ‘Priske outside’ – into the background. “As a supporter, you can have reservations about certain substitutions or tactical interventions, so the switch to that four-man defense was his responsibility,” says Van Landeghem. “But you can’t blame him for the clumsy loss of the ball prior to the 0-1 and the 0-2.”

“Going into a negative atmosphere does not fit with our house style. We do not show that we are in the corner where the blows fall, not even when the calf has drowned, as against Anderlecht. By the way: supporting is like managing a marriage, in good and bad days. We have had many beautiful moments in recent years. Now as a supporter say: ‘do it all on your own‘ does not belong to this club.” And so the home crowd drowned out the Purple & White away section, where a victory party broke out. “It was a statement to our players and our coach: ‘This is our home here where you come and go, but with the knowledge that the twelfth man will always be behind you.’

At the same time, it was a nice answer to the bad advertising that some hotheads provided in Jan Breydel two weeks ago. “That is of course not the reputation that we as a supporters federation want to propagate,” concludes Van Landeghem. “Radja Nainggolan has to perform on the pitch and should not be taken out of the dressing room to calm the fans. I hope we have straightened that image a bit against Anderlecht. We are also there when things are not going well with our club.”

The vocal support from the stands themselves:

Here is inserted content from a social media network that wants to write or read cookies. You have not given permission for this.

Here is inserted content from a social media network that wants to write or read cookies. You have not given permission for this.

Leave a Reply