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Smoking Hashtag? Dutch PM Mocked on Twitter for Telling Football Fans to 'Shut Up'

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been mocked on social media after he told football supporters to "just shut up" and stop singing at matches.

Rutte criticised fans on Monday for ignoring social distancing measures against coronavirus in place at grounds to gather in groups, singing and chanting in support of their teams.

"Just shut up when you're sitting there," Rutte said in an unscripted remark to a reporter's question about crowd behaviour. "Watch the game and don't shout. It's possible."

"It's utterly stupid," he added. "That way we won't get the virus under control."

Rutte's blunt rebuke of supporters prompted a Twitter trend for the hahstag #gewoonjebekhouden - 'just shut up'.

Others just pointed out that fans on the terraces just don't care:

​And another said Rutte's party-pooping had gone beyond satire:

Dutch football enthusiasts have been at a loose end since the 2019-20 season was cut short this April in response to the pandemic.

The daily tally of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands topped 2,000 for the first time on Monday, setting a record for the fifth time in a week.

On Friday Rutte announced regional measures to limit the spread of the disease, forcing bars and restaurants to close early and limiting group sizes. He has repeatedly warned that soccer stadiums could be closed down again if fans cannot restrain themselves.

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