Georginio Wijnaldum takes stand against racism with goal celebration, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Georginio Wijnaldum takes stand against racism with goal celebration

Holland's hat-trick hero and stand-in captain Georginio Wijnaldum made it a point to make his views known about racism in football after opening the scoring in a 5-0 Group C Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Wijnaldum, who stood alongside teammate Frenkie de Jong in the celebration of his first goal, held their arms out and pointed to the colours of their skin.

It follows allegations of racist abuse aimed at Dutch second-tier player Ahmad Mendes Moreira during a game between his side SBV Excelsior and Den Bosch last weekend.

Wijnaldum had spoken about the incident in the build-up to the match and tweeted an anti-racism message after the fixture.

Dutch coach Ronald Koeman welcomed the gesture, saying: "Gini just said something about it in the dressing room during our closing words with each other.

"He said he feels so happy with this Dutch team, where this problem (of racism) does not occur. It is one team. It's nice to see that."

Koeman had plenty of reasons to be happy yesterday with debutants Calvin Stengs, 20, and Myron Boadu, 18, grabbing two assists and a goal respectively. Defender Nathan Ake, 24, scored Holland's other goal.

"It would be very strange if everything was clear against Estonia," Koeman told Dutch broadcaster NOS.

"We still have six months. We have a lot of young players who will be half a year older. It will be a fight."

Koeman added that next March's international window would heavily influence the make-up of his Euro 2020 squad. - REUTERS