N-VA leader verbally assaulted at Antwerp basketball match
Thursday, 09 January 2020
Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever’s presence at a basketball game in Antwerp on Wednesday stirred up some commotion at a basketball game on Wednesday, after the nationalist leader was aggressively approached by a spectator.
The leader of the Flemish nationalist Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) party was in attendance at the Antwerp Giants Basketball Champions League match against Athens’ AEK Club.
De Wever was invited to step into the court for a symbolic tip-off of the ball and was verbally assaulted by a supporter of the Greek team during a break.
Images of the altercation show an unidentified supporter being contained by a crowd as he attempts to approach De Wever, with HLN reporting that the man “hurled insults” at the right-wing mayor.
“I often have people come to scold me,” De Wever said, adding that he preferred to not pay any attention to such incidents since doing so could “encourage some people.”
The game saw the Antwerp team seize victory, wrapping up the game with a 73-61 score, with De Wever expressing enthusiasm for his city’s victory over Athens.
“I was mainly engrossed by the excitement of the game, at times I thought I was going to die!” he said, adding: What a great victory for the Giants!”
The match on Wednesday was not the first time De Wever showed his appreciation for the game, after the Flemish party leader took part in two-person team match with other Antwerp officials at the inauguration of a sports venue.