Netherlands will not make racism complaint

Updated: June 8, 2012

The Netherlands has confirmed that it will not make an official complaint to UEFA over alleged racist remarks directed towards the team’s black players during an open training session at the team’s base in Poland.

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Oranje captain, Mark van Bommel, has said that his black team-mates were racially abused by a minority of attendees to the session, who allegedly directed monkey chants at them.

The chants were mixed in amongst other chants that were intended to be some sort of political statement and the Dutch FA has considered the matter closed.

However, UEFA have still not decided whether to pursue an investigation into the matter but did confirm that they were making preliminary inquiries.

Around 20,000 people turned up to the Stadion Miejski in Krakow on Wednesday to watch the players train. Many of the crowd were protesting the fact that their city is not hosting any matches but van Bommel claims that there were monkey noises directed at his black team-mates. Ironically, the team had only returned from a visit to Holocaust concentration camp, Auschwitz, which they visited on Tuesday.

“Open your ears”, he told UEFA officials.

“If you did hear it, and don’t want to hear it, that is even worse.”

His account of the incident is supported by Dutch journalist, Marcel van der Kraan. He was present at the session in his capacity for Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf.

“The Dutch had an open training session which they always do at one of the big stadiums to make the public feel welcome”, said van der Kraan.

“When the players heard this they said they would do another lap and if they heard monkey noises again they would stop.
“The Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk moved all the cones and started training on the pitch as far away from these people as possible.

“It was considerably more than two or three people. The Dutch media could hear it as well.”
“[Winger] Ibrahim Afellay said if the whole team decides to do something, they will all do it together. He said, ‘If someone turns right, we all turn right’.”

In the last few minutes UEFA have acknowledged “isolated incidents of racist chanting” but have yet to say what will be done.

The Netherlands will face Denmark, Portugal and Germany in the so-called “Group of Death” at Euro 2012, as they bid to go one step further than their exploits in South Africa at the 2010 World Cup and capture European football’s biggest international prize.

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