Holland stars Gini Wijnaldum and Frenkie de Jong make powerful stand against racism as they hold their arms together in celebration to show skin tone difference in wake of abuse of Dutch player last weekend
Holland midfielder Gini Wijnaldum backed up his powerful words on racism in football this week, by leading by example for his national team and making a visual statement.
Wijnaldum captained Holland in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and was a key architect in an emphatic 5-0 victory over Estonia, scoring an international hat-trick and helping the Oranje conclude their Euro 2020 group stage in style.
But it was Wijnaldum’s off-the-ball actions which stood out as most prominent, with the 29-year-old making a specific gesture of highlighting and celebrating diversity in football, just days after sickening racist abuse of striker Ahmad Mendes Moreira in the Dutch second tier.
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Gini Wijnaldum backed up his powerful words on racism in football with a strong gesture
Wijnaldum highlighted the difference in skin tone between himself and Frenkie de Jong
Earlier in the week the midfielder and Ronald Koeman spoke out on a racist incident in Holland
After opening the scoring on six minutes, Wijnaldum headed over to the touchline along with Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong, before placing his forearm next to that of his team-mate.
As the cameras zoned in Wijnaldum pointed to the two differing skin tones, emphasising the game of football as a game for every race.
Earlier in the week, Wijnaldum had been joined by national manager Ronald Koeman in speaking on the recent abuse of Moreira in a match between FC Den Bosch and Excelsior, which saw play temporarily suspended.
Dutch second tier clash FC Den Bosch versus Excelsior saw Ahmad Mendes Moreira abused
Moreira was comforted by members of his staff before returning to the field after a delay
Memphis Depay took to social media to condemn the incident and question the punishments
‘It came very hard personally, I never expected this to happen in the Netherlands,’ Wijnaldum had said of the incident. ‘I was very shocked.’
When asked how these growing issues should be tackled, Wijnaldum replied: ‘Hard fines. I read somewhere that there should be cameras everywhere.
‘The punishment must be so harsh that no one will get it to do that. If you play football you are not waiting for that at all.
‘That match should not have been completed. If it were to happen to us, I would walk off the field.
‘This is a social problem, it is something for politics. Action must be taken against this type of practice. And not only against racism.’