Dutch warn about racist chanting at Euro 2012
Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel made it clear on Friday that his team won't tolerate any racist chants at the European Championship following controversy at one of his team's training sessions.
''We will not accept that one of us is confronted with monkey chants,'' Van Bommel told Friday's edition of De Telegraaf. ''We will point it out to the referee and if such chants are heard again we will ask him to intervene.''
The Dutch have been training at Krakow, before leaving to face Denmark in their Group B opener on Saturday at Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Van Bommel had been quoted as complaining about racist chants during a training session that was open to the public on Wednesday. Some 25,000 spectators made a lot of noise on one side of the stadium, while the Dutch team carried out its shooting practice and ball drills on the other.
Van Bommel's teammate Ibrahim Afellay told De Telegraaf that the jeers had ''saddened him.'' However, the Dutch federation said it did not file a complaint about any racist chanting, and UEFA said that it had not received any such complaints. Dutch defender Jetro Willems, who is black, told AD newspaper he hadn't heard any such jeers.
The training session came only hours after the team, which for decades has been a reflection of the multicultural makeup of the nation, had made solemn and emotional visits to the former Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps close to Krakow.
Racism has emerged as an early issue for the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
A recent British television documentary, entitled ''Stadiums of Hate'', fueled concerns about fans' behavior at club matches. The program was shown in Poland earlier this week and the issue dominated questions at the first press conference at the tournament of UEFA President Michel Platini.
Platini promised that referees will stop matches if players suffer racist abuse. But he also warned players they would be shown a yellow card if they acted alone by walking off the pitch.