Dutch Eredivisie teams to stand still during the first minute of their matches this weekend in protest against racism.
What is the story?
This protest is against an incident that took place in an Eerste Divisie(Dutch second-highest tier) clash between FC Den Bosch and Excelsior Rotterdam
Where, Ahmad Mendes Moreira, a 24-year-old Black Winger was abused at Van Donge & De Roo Stadion by home fans supporting FC Den Bosch.
Moreira scored a goal to make it 2-1 for the visitors which lead to racist chants like negro and cotton-picker.
Excelsior winger Moreira walked off the game as he was consoled by his team-mates as he left the pitch following an incident.
Laurens Gerrets, the referee of the clash, took the players off the field following chants and the match was halted for 10 minutes.
Match eventually started and finished 3-3 draw. The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) said that it was investigating the incident.
Ahmad Mendes Moreira in a statement to official Excelsior website and post-match interview said
From the first minute all kinds of things were shouted at me and it hurts a lot.
I was left powerless and there was nothing you can do about it.
Den Bosch FC initially played down the incident by saying Moreira mistook crow sounds to racist chants.
But later issued a statement apologizing to Moreira for an earlier reaction.
Support to Ahmad Mendes Moreira
There has been overwhelming support to Ahmad Mendes Moreira from his fellow countrymen and football community as a whole.
An anti-racism celebration from Wijnaldum ??— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) November 19, 2019
The Liverpool man puts the Dutch ahead against Estonia before making a powerful gesture with teammate Frenkie de Jong.#OptusSport #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/IIfh8TFIDM
Dutch midfield maestro Georginio Wijnaldum made a powerful statement along with his midfield partner Frenkie de Jong showing the color of their skin following his fist goal in hat-trick against Estonia.
Since then he also said in an interview that
It really hit me on a personal level.
I never expected anything like this to happen in the Netherlands. I’m really shocked. It did happen, unfortunately, and the way people have talked about the incident really hurt me.
It’s a problem in society. As a player, you can’t really change anything about it. But I still think that players should try and support each other. It’s a problem in society and a problem that should be solved by our politicians.
Another Dutch international star Memphis Depay took to twitter and released the following statement.
I’m sick and tired to see these images over and over! When is it going to stop!!? #SayNoToRacism @KNVB @OnsOranje @UEFA what we going to do? Specially with the upcoming @EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/DUt0y2h8IA— Memphis Depay (@Memphis) November 17, 2019
All the clubs in Eerste Divisie and Eredivisie have joined the cause of not playing for first minute in matches this weekend.
Ahmad Mendes Moreira Home Welcome
This weekend Eerste Divisie clash saw Excelsior take on Volendam at Stadion Woudestein.
The players of both clubs stood still for the first minute of the match and an additional one minute was added at the end of the first half.
Fans applauded the planned stand still for a minute following kick-off as the banners, scoreboards, advertisement boards read
“geff racisme de rode kaart” wich roughly translates to
Give racism the red card
Along with that supporters held up red cards reading “show racism the red card” during the 18th minute(18 is the number worn by Moreira).
Eredivisie Protest Procedure
All players from the top two Dutch divisions are expected to abstain from playing football for the first minute.
The slogan ‘Racism? Then we don’t play football’ displays on scoreboards and digital boards during this time.
The un-played minute will be added at the end of the game thus making the game full 90 minutes.
Other high profile Racist incidents in November
Brescia Calcio and Italian star striker Mario Balotelli threatened to walk off the pitch after receiving alleged racist abuse in a match against after Hellas Verona crowd made monkey noises.
Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian star Taison was shown a red card for reacting to racist jeers from the crowd during a match against Dynamo Kyiv.
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