Footballers in Netherlands to make joint stand against racism after Moreira abuse

Footballers in the Netherlands will protest racist abuse by refusing to play for the first minute of their matches this weekend.

Players in the country’s top two divisions will refuse to play for the opening 60 seconds - which will be added on as injury time later - to make a stand against racism.

While they do so, all scoreboards will change to show fans the message: ‘Racism? Then we don’t play football’.

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Excelsior’s Ahmad Mendes Moreira found himself the subject of abuse by Den Bosch fans on Sunday - the latest in a spate of incidents across Europe this year.

The club apologised to Moreira, who scored in the Eerste Divisie tie which ended in a 3-3 draw, after the striker had to be consoled as he left the field mid-match.

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The second division club’s apology on Monday came after an initial denial of the claims, stating they were ‘crow sounds’.

After the incident, Memphis Depay tweeted he was ‘sick and tired’ of seeing players suffer racism.

DEN BOSCH, 17-11-2019, Sportpark De Vliert, football season 2019 / 2020, Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie, Den Bosch - Excelsior, players leave the field due to rasitic cries from the stands FC Den Bosch player Oussama Bouyaghlafen(L) Excelsior player Ahmad Mendes Moreira(M) during the match Den Bosch - Excelsior (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
Ahmad Mendes Moreira suffered abuse against Den Bosch. (Credit: Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 19: Georginio Wijnaldum of Holland celebrates 1-0 with Frenkie de Jong of Holland  during the  EURO Qualifier match between Holland  v Estonia  at the Johan Cruijff Arena on November 19, 2019 in Amsterdam Netherlands (Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Wijnaldum and Frankie de Jong point to the colour of their skins (Credit: Getty Images)

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who pointed to the colour of his and teammate Frankie de Jong’s skin while celebrating a goal for the Netherlands on Tuesday, said the abuse ‘really hit me on a personal level’.

A KNVB statement: "There is no room for racism in football. Unfortunately, racism is a social problem that sometimes also arises in football.

“This is at odds with what we want with sport: connecting people. That is why we are taking a crackdown on racism.”

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