After Kökçü, Excelsior captain El Yaakoubi also plays without OneLove band
Excelsior captain Redouan El Yaakoubi will not wear the OneLove band on Sunday, but a band with the word “respect” on it. In doing so, he is making the same decision as Feyenoord’s captain, midfielder Orkun Kökçü.
In a statement on the club website, general manager Daan Bovenberg explains what Excelsior is and is not planning within the framework of the KNVB’s OneLove campaign. “Redouan is a champion of equality in the world and someone who strives for overall social respect. (…) Yet the request to wear the OneLove band embarrasses him.”
Excelsior does support the OneLove campaign, Bovenberg said. “This Sunday we will stand as one club and one team behind the message of the OneLove campaign, our core values and our captain.”
‘The more the merrier’
KNVB director Marianne van Leeuwen, in announcing the new OneLove campaign, emphasized that players can decide for themselves whether to participate. “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.”
A soccer federation spokesman added that it is someone’s right not to participate. “The goal is not for every captain to wear the band. But the more, the better.”