September 28, 2019 / 9:20 AM / 19 days ago

Potential Mexican investor in Dutch club gets marching order from angry fans

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A potential Mexican investor in Dutch club Roda JC Kerkrade was chased out from their stadium on Friday by angry supporters in an incident local police say they are investigating.

Mauricio Garcia de la Vega was heckled from the start of the Dutch second division game against De Graafschaap and then confronted by supporters at half-time, who marched him out of the stadium, social media videos showed.

“Police on Friday provided safety to a potential investor in Roda JC,” said a statement from regional police.

“The man had a discussion with supporters who then took him out of the stadium in Kerkrade where he got stuck and was brought to safety. Police are investigating.”

Supporters groups had planned to remove de la Vega, described as sports agent and concert promoter, from the stadium before the match in protest of his proposed takeover of the struggling club.

Roda has been mired in financial difficulties over last five years and has previous history of failed foreign investment.

The protests follow Dutch media expose of de la Vega’s alleged legal woes in his home country, including a suspension by the Mexican football federation.

The Dutch football association KNVB are still to ratify the proposed takeover amid an investigation into his suitability.

Roda are former Dutch cup winners but were relegated in 2014 amid financial problems after 41 years in the top flight of Dutch football.

They bounced back after one season but went down again last year.

A planned takeover of Roda JC by Russian investor Aleksei Korotaev ended when he was jailed in Dubai two years ago.

Roda coach Jean-Paul de Jong said after Friday’s match it was “very sad” what had happened.

“It was also a hard blow to the squad and we distance ourselves from this action,” he told reporters.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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