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“I achieved my goal because the insults stopped,” N'Zolo said.

When the Belgian federation fined Genk $805, Turtelboom was not happy.

“That, in fact, is peanuts,” she said.

Turtelboom said the government asked for video evidence and hopes to identify individuals responsible and ban them for at least three months.

Beyond racism and xenophobia, many fans insist on just being hateful.

Last week, Belgian league club Beerschot apologized to Kawashima and the Japanese embassy after some of its fans taunted the goalkeeper with “Fukushima” chants. The referee interrupted the match until the taunts stopped. When the player went to confront the fans where the taunting started he was pelted with coins and beer.

“The Fukushima incident really gave our game a bad image,” Turtelboom said.

It is hardly an isolated case.

At a Manchester United-Leeds League Cup match in England last week, United fans chanted “Istanbul” in reference to two Leeds fans stabbed to death there. Leeds fans retorted, chanting “Munich” in reference to the 1958 plane crash in Germany in which the core of United’s team died.

“It is off the scale,” FARE executive director Piara Powar said in a telephone interview.

He said that even if clear-cut racism may be declining slightly, it is quickly replaced by general insults that may hide the same sympathies.

“It is this mindset we need to overcome,” Powar said.

Heavy fines may help, but Turtelboom, the Belgian minister, was looking abroad for inspiration.

Turkey came up with a radical solution for unruly behavior _ ban the men and let only women and children in. Last week, more than 41,000 women and children filled the Fenerbahce stadium to watch Istanbul draw 1-1 with Manisapor.

Said Manisaspor midfielder Omer Aysan: “It was such a fun and pleasant atmosphere.”