‘Is not about who does and does not participate’
The KNVB does not care if everyone participates, “it’s about the message.” That is what Marianne van Leeuwen, director of professional soccer of the KNVB, said in the radio program News&Co on NPO Radio 1 about a new campaign featuring the OneLove captain’s band.
During the weekend of March 17 to 19, the soccer association is bringing extra attention to the OneLove campaign in connection with the International Day against Racism and Discrimination. Wearing the captain’s armband is part of this.
Last time the KNVB organized this action, a fuss arose over two captains who refused to wear the band. In October, around coming-out day, Feyenoord captain Orkan Kökçü and Excelsior captain Redouan El Yaakoubi thanked for the honor.
“The more the merrier,” a KNVB spokesman said today about the next campaign weekend, and Van Leeuwen underscores this. “It’s not about who does and doesn’t participate, it’s about the message that there is no place for any kind of discrimination. Not in soccer, not anywhere.”
Love of soccer
She cannot say whether the captains who refused last time will participate this time. “All the clubs are on board, but I don’t know what expressions those clubs will choose,” she said.
The director stressed that it should not matter at what time the OneLove campaign receives extra attention, whether it is around Coming Out Day or on the International Day Against Racism and Discrimination. “It’s about the love of soccer that we share with millions of different people. Everyone should be able to be themselves.”