Lokeren residents (Western Flanders) who have a Turkish surname will not be allowed tickets for Thursday night’s Europa League game between Sporting Lokeren and Trabzonspor Külübu. This is, police say, for “security reasons”, several newspapers reported on Thursday. Supporters of Turkish origin claim it’s “racism”. “We’re trying to stop Trabzonspor supporters and Lokeren supporters mixing”, said the local police chief Patrick Trienport. According to him, this decision was taken in conjunction with the football department of the Home Office.
Several Lokeren supporters have submitted a complaint to the Equal Opportunities Centre. “The fact that someone is refused a ticket on the basis of a Turkish name on a Belgian passport could be considered indirect discrimination”, said the Centre’s spokesman. An urgent meeting between the police and the football club has been requested.