Dutch play­ers to protest at racist abuse by sup­port­ers

The National - News - - SPORT FOOTBALL -

Play­ers in the top two divisions of Dutch foot­ball will stand still for the first minute of matches this week­end as a protest against racism.

An anti-racism mes­sage will be also displayed on score­boards dur­ing the open­ing 60 sec­onds at Ere­di­visie and Eer­ste Divisie games. While play­ers stand, the mes­sage ‘Racism? Then we don’t play foot­ball’ will ap­pear. An ex­tra minute will be added to first half in­jury time.

The move comes after Ex­cel­sior for­ward Ah­mad Men­des Mor­eira was racially abused by a sec­tion of FC Den Bosch sup­port­ers last week­end, with the game sus­pended for half an hour after the ref­eree de­cided to take the play­ers off the pitch.

After the match, Ex­cel­sior man­ager Ri­cardo Moniz praised ref­eree Ger­rets for how he han­dled the sit­u­a­tion. “The ref­eree did that on his own ini­tia­tive and not be­cause we asked for it. I think it is a very good ac­tion from the ref­eree and very brave of him,” he said.

“You can see that the ex­treme right also ex­ists in the Nether­lands and is also sit­ting in the stands. Th­ese peo­ple are crazy, very sick in the head.

“I just ap­proached our fans there and talked to them. That is the only way to tackle this. Clubs are of­ten too lax and cowardly for this.”

The Dutch foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion has said it would in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent and look into pos­si­ble sanc­tions against Den Bosch and its sup­port­ers.

The abuse of Mor­eira was con­demned by many Dutch foot­ballers in­clud­ing Lyon for­ward Mem­phis De­pay – who de­scribed be­ing “sick and tired” of see­ing such scenes – while Liver­pool mid­fielder Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum said the in­ci­dent “re­ally hit me on a per­sonal level”.

Dur­ing the Nether­lands’ 5-0 over Es­to­nia on Tues­day, Wi­j­nal­dum and team-mate Frenkie de Jong pointed to the colour of their skin after the Liver­pool star scored the first of his three goals.

Den Bosch have apol­o­gised to Mor­eira for declar­ing the striker mis­took “crow sounds” for racist abuse dur­ing the Dutch se­cond divi­sion match.

A se­ries of racist in­ci­dents has tainted Euro­pean foot­ball re­cently.

Ital­ian striker Mario Balotelli threat­ened to walk off the pitch after re­ceiv­ing al­leged racist abuse ear­lier this month while Shakhtar Donetsk for­ward Tai­son was shown a red card for re­act­ing to racist jeers from the crowd dur­ing a match.

Getty

Ah­mad Men­des Mor­eira was racially abused by fans

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