Netherlands midfielder Davy Klaassen has hinted they could follow Germany’s lead in an on-pitch protest to to highlight human rights and the “OneLove” campaign.
Before a 2-1 loss to Japan, Hansi Flick’s starting players all held their hands over their mouths during the team photo to draw attention to FIFA’s threat of sanctions regarding the OneLove armband.
And ex-Everton man Klaassen, now on the books at Ajax, has suggested it has inspired the Dutch team to consider their efforts ahead of the second group game against Ecuador on Friday.
“I thought it was a nice expression from Germany,” Klaassen told a news conference at the Dutch training camp in Qatar.
“Of course, we were also thinking about making a statement as a group,” he added.
“It has to be done in a good and catchy way. Germany has found an original way to express their point of view.”
A statement from the German Football Association (DFB) said: “We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard.
“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”
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Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk hit back earlier this week at criticism that European countries who planned to wear the armband had wilted under FIFA pressure and the possibility they would be booked.
“I play in a position where a yellow card is not useful. I became a football player and I want to play these kind of tournaments,” Van Dijk said
“There are people who say we don’t have a backbone, but that’s not how it works.
“We just want to play football. I would have loved to play with that band, but not at the expense of a yellow card,” he added.
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