November 21 – Players in the Netherlands’ top two divisions will not play the first minute of all matches this weekend, standing still in silence to draw attention to racism, the first country to take such action.
The move comes after Excelsior forward Ahmad Mendes Moreira was racially abused by a section of Den Bosch supporters last weekend, with the game suspended for half an hour after the referee decided to take the players off the pitch.
While players in the Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie stand still, the message ‘Racism? Then we don’t play football’ will appear on scoreboards. The minute lost will be added on to injury time in the first-half.
The abuse of Moreira was condemned by many Dutch international footballers including Lyon forward Memphis Depay, while Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum said the incident “really hit me on a personal level”.
During the Netherlands’ 5-0 win 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. The Dutch football association has said it would investigate the incident and look into possible sanctions against Den Bosch and its supporters.
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