Several fans of the Dutch soccer team PSV Eindhoven were caught on camera on Tuesday humiliating a group of beggars who came asking for money at their table in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, on the day when their club was scheduled to face Atlético de Madrid in a Champion’s League match.
A video made by Pablo Vande Rusten and Ignacio Camacho, students at the UAM-EL País journalism school, show the women picking up coins that had been thrown onto the ground by the individuals, and being goaded into doing push-ups in exchange for money.
The incident took place at midday, at a time when the popular square was filled with people.
The soccer fans were sitting at an outdoor table having beers when a group of female panhandlers showed up. Every time they threw a coin on the ground and a woman picked it up, the visitors yelled “Olé” amid great laughter.
At one point they chanted xenophobic messages such as “Don’t cross the border” at the women, who appeared to be of Roma origin.
A man who saw what was happening came up to the Eindhoven group and angrily recriminated its members for their attitude. “You don’t do that,” he said. He was booed away by everyone present at the scene.
“Not all fans had the same attitude with the Roma in Plaza Mayor,” reads this tweet from EL PAÍS journalism student Pablo Vander.
Miguel Ángel Rendón, a high school teacher from Cádiz, also witnessed the scene with his students.
“They were treating them like animals, and the women were shoving and almost hitting one another as they competed for the coins while the Dutchmen laughed,” he said. “They were giving them five-cent coins. And the worst of the worst was when they threw pieces of bread on the ground.”
One fan was also filmed burning a banknote in front of the faces of the beggars.
Eventually the police showed up and took the beggars away from the scene while the soccer fans continued to drink at their table.
In a separate incident, the National Police arrested six PSV Eindhoven fans on Tuesday night, after the Champions League game had concluded. The detainees had been damaging parked cars and assaulting passers by, according to a police spokesperson.
English version by Susana Urra.