Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum will wear a rainbow armband bearing the phrase “One Love” during Sunday’s Euro 2020 round of 16 tie against the Czech Republic in Budapest, coach Frank de Boer has confirmed.
UEFA is investigating allegations of racist and homophobic chanting in the Puskas Arena during France’s 2-2 Group F draw with Portugal on Wednesday. That game took place on the same day as Hungary’s encounter with Germany in Munich, when UEFA rejected a request for the Allianz Arena to be lit in rainbow colours due to its insistence that it would be a political act against new rules introduced by Hungary’s government forbidding gay people to feature in educational material.
– Euro 2020 on ESPN: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)
UEFA is expecting another crowd close to the 60,000 capacity in Budapest on Sunday, with the possibility of further discriminatory chants or banners.
But despite the controversy, De Boer says that Wijnaldum is determined to wear the “One Love” armband.
“We have not kneeled in the earlier games but we know what we stand for,” De Boer said. “Our captain wears the band for the ‘One Love’ campaign which stands against all forms of discrimination.
“This is the biggest statement we can make. Gini is an example to us. Besides his qualities and his goals, he’s a fighter and a person who can connect.
“He is our connector between the fans and the players, and between the players in the team. Everyone loves him. You can recognise him by his big smile, and he is clear and says what he stands for.”
UEFA is expecting 6,000 Dutch fans and 7,000 Czechs for the game, with the majority inside the stadium likely to be local fans.