A Groningen supporter attacking Jetro Willems during their match with Heerenveen (ESPN)
Jetro Willems was attacked by his own Groningen supporter during their 2-0 defeat to Heerenveen on Sunday.
With less than 10 minutes of the match remaining, referee Serdar Gozubuyuk stopped play after a fan ran on to the pitch and clashed with the stewards, while Groningen’s players attempted to ease the unrest from their own supporters in one corner of the stadium.
Willems was among the players who jumped over the advertising boards to help calm the fans down but the Netherlands international was thumped by one supporter who made his way towards the player.
The Groningen fan was quickly pulled away from his situation by his fellow supporters, while Willems was able to finish the game.
Willems, who has 22 appearances for the Dutch national side, spent a season on loan at Newcastle United in 2019, although his campaign was cut short in January due to a knee injury which required surgery.
Groningen, meanwhile, are in the relegation zone in the Eredivisie and have now lost their last three games.
‘We are grateful that many people do support us, but there are figures, with all due respect… you can’t do that,’ said Groningen captain Michael Verrips.
‘Not against other fans, but not against players either. We must disapprove of that.’
‘This is a sad day,’ said ESPN pundit Kees Kwakman.
‘It may be fifteen supporters, but they also ruin it for the rest. We have to disapprove this again, for the umpteenth time.
‘With all those stories about supporters… this reinforces the story towards measures that we all don’t want. And then a large group is punished.’
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The ex-Newcastle United defender was attempting to calm his own supporters.