After the fuss about some footballers’ refusal to wear a colorful armband as a symbol of diversity, the Dutch association KNVB has canceled a repeat of the campaign. In November, all professional team captains should wear the so-called One Love ribbon as a sign against discrimination. That will not take place, said a spokesman for the KNVB on Friday in Zeist.
Last weekend, two captains refused to wear the armband. This had been heavily criticized in the country. Now the KNVB said: “If we play with the One Love band again within a month, the focus will be on other things than the gesture you want to do with it.”
The LGBTIQ* movement spoke of an “incomprehensible” decision by the association. The English abbreviation stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans people, intersex and queer people. The asterisk is a placeholder for additional identities and genders.
Most of the Eredivisie teams took part in the campaign last weekend. Captains wore the One Love armband and players wore rainbow pins.
But the captain of the first division club Feyenoord, Orkun Kökcü, had refused to wear the armband, citing his religion. And Excelsior Rotterdam captain Redouan El Yaakoubi wore a ribbon with the word “Respect” on it instead.
The queer organization COC Nederland finds it “incomprehensible that the KNVB gives in to the pressure that has arisen: Who can object to respect?” The association announced that the national team would take part in the One Love campaign.
At the World Cup in Qatar, captain Virgil van Dijk wants to wear the ribbon if the world association Fifa gives its approval. A few weeks ago, the DFB also announced that it would join the joint action of the national teams from England, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Wales, France, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.