Indian Dutch speed skater to Olympic winter games


This 28 December 2017 video is about the victory of Indian Dutch speed skater Anice Asha Farzana Das in the 500 meter race in the Dutch Winter Olympics qualification event in the Thialf stadium in Heerenveen. At the end of the video, one sees the happiness of Anice’s twin sister Savida on the seated spectator stands.

This is an October 2017 interview with Ms Das and her sister.

Anice and Savida were born 31 December 1985 in Mumbai, India. Their poor parents did not have enough money to care properly for the girl twins. At seven months of age, a Dutch couple became their adoptive parents.

They went to live not far from the skating track in Assen. Little Anice asked her parents for speed skates. The parents said, OK, but only if you join a speed skating club. Else you might not use the skates maybe after two or three times.

Anice Das since has never stopped skating. She became one of the best Dutch short distance speed skaters. One of the best; never the best, never the champion. Often, she did not have a commercial sponsor like other good Dutch skaters have. Sometimes, sickness or injuries prevented her from racing.

Now, she is 31, almost 32. An age when many sports people stop, or think they will stop soon. But yesterday, Ms Das for the first time won a Winter Olympics qualification race. If there won’t be a disaster, then she will compete at the Olympic ice rink in South Korea in February 2018.

Anice Das is the first ever person of colour ever to participate for the Netherlands in Winter Olympics. She has an orange car. ‘The colour of Dutch national sports teams; also in the flag of India’.

After the Olympics, Anice and Savida plan to visit their biological parents in India. ‘Maybe we will have to explain to them what ice is’.

THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN ON THE U.S. OLYMPIC LONG-TRACK SKATING TEAM PICKED UP THE SPORT FOUR MONTHS AGO Yes, we can call get off the couch now. [HuffPost]

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No training in dictatorial Dubai, fans persuade football clubs


This 14 August 2015 video shows relatives of conscripts from the United Arab Emirates, forced by the absolute monarchy to participate in the bloody Saudi war on Yemen, crying after their loved ones come back dead from Yemen.

And now, about Dubai, one of the emirates of the UAE.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Rosenborg cancels training camp in Dubai after criticism by supporters

Today, 14:24

Rosenborg BK turns back the plans to go to training camp in Dubai in January. On Monday the board of the Norwegian soccer club still agreed with the controversial trip, but after criticism from supporters the club canceled that one day later.

After the announcement of the trip, a storm of criticism broke out among supporters. The official supporters club [Kjernen] called it ‘disgusting’ that the club wants to commit itself to a city-state that is part of the United Arab Emirates, a country that is associated with violation of human rights such as exclusion of homosexuals and discrimination of women. …

Managing Director Tove Moe Dyrhaug said “This tells us that we have to take more timer, this time we had made the wrong decision.” …

The national champion of the Norwegian league is not the only club that has canceled a training camp in Dubai as a result of criticism. Earlier, the Swedish club Malmö FF turned the plans back after fierce criticism from the club’s supporters. “We do not think the club should sponsor a state that punishes homosexuals and slaves”, was the reaction of the official supporters club last winter.

Spanish monarchists angry about football team’s shirts


Spanish national football team's new shirts, EPA photo

This photo shows the Spanish national football team’s new shirts, intended for the world championship in Russia in 2018.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant today:

New red-yellow purple shirts of Spanish team are ‘attack on monarchy

There is a problem with the new Spanish national team football shirt: it is supposedly a secret tribute to the Republican flag.

Spanish republican flag

The football federation president is said to even have received from the highest circles – the king, it is whispered – complaints about the design. On social media, many opponents are calling for a boycott.

By Maartje Bakker

The jersey of the Spanish team is traditionally red and yellow, often with a dash of blue. This time, Adidas, the creator of the shirt, chose to apply thin blue stripes to the red. Any toddler knows: that gives a purple effect. Red-yellow-purple, which are the colours of the Spanish Republic in the thirties. So, an attack on the monarchy and constitution. And just at a time when those, especially from Catalonia, are already very much under fire.

The republican flag always accompanies Catalans demonstrations. The region retains good memories of those years when the Catalan republic (within the Spanish state) was proclaimed, with far-reaching self-government.

Left-wing politicians are delighted with the new national colours. “It’s been a long time since the Spanish selection had such beautiful shirts,” provokes Pablo Iglesias, leader of the socialist protest party Podemos, on Twitter. …

The soccer players seem to be wisest this time. “I think it’s a beautiful shirt”, said Vitolo.

Barcelona football supporters say free political prisoners


Barcelona protest, AFP photo

This photo is from the terraces of Barcelona football club on 4 November 2017, yesterday, when the home team played Sevilla. The Catalan language slogans demand freedom for political prisoners. The banner behind the football player dolls mentions the Catalan republic, proclaimed recently as independent from the kingdom of Spain.

Barcelona won the match, two goals to one.

This video says about itself:

Spain: Fans prepare to protest for Catalan leaders at Barcelona-Sevilla match

4 November 2017

Volunteers were seen handing out banners to fans with a message calling for freedom of the imprisoned Catalan leaders, outside Barcelona FC stadium Camp Nou, on Saturday night, before the kick-off of the match between Barcelona and Sevilla.

Italian Lazio football hooligans’ anti-Semitism escalation


This video from Italy says about itself:

SS Lazio supporters: antisemitism

25 October 2017

Anti-semitic graffiti: the backdrop for pictures of Anne Frank, which have been doctored to show her wearing a Roma football jersey. Anne Frank was a Dutch Jewish child who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

This is how some SS Lazio fans chose to express their dedication to their club – and their antagonism to the Italian capital’s rival team – during a recent league game against Cagliari. …

Flirtations with fascism

In a country where “il calcio” is a passion rather than a hobby, [some of] Italy’s most fanatical football supporters, the “ultras”, have long-standing links to fascism. As if to underscore the point, outside Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, home to both Lazio and Roma, stands an obelisk which still bears the inscription “Mussolini, leader”.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Lazio chairman calls synagogue visit after Anne Frank row ‘theater’

Today, 20:41

The Italian football club Lazio is in a controversy again. The club’s chairman, Claudio Lotito, visited a synagogue in Rome after the row about [anti-Semitic] Anne Frank stickers from Lazio fans. During that visit he is said to have qualified it as “theater that is part of routine”.

Lotito went to the synagogue because Lazio came under fire after the anti-Semitic acts by supporters last week. He told the press that the club was working on a new campaign against anti-Semitism. But in the synagogue, Lotito said according to bystanders that the visit had been imposed on him.

The chairman denies the accusations and wants to sue people who maintain that he has made these statements. Evidence against him is that after the visit, the Roman newspaper Il Messaggero published a recording on which he actually appears to speak about a theater play.

Outraged

The Jewish community in Rome reacted furiously to the words the chairman is said to have spoken. A wreath that Lotito brought for his visit to the synagogue was thrown into the water [of the river Tiber].

The question now is how the Italian football federation and authorities will respond to Lotito’s words.

Stickers displaying Anne Frank wearing football jerseys have appeared in Germany as an anti-Semitic provocation by neo-Nazi fans. Dortmund and Leipzig hooligan groups appear to be copying their Italian counterparts: here.

Italian Lazio football hooligans’ anti-Semitism


Paolo Di Canio makes fascist salute

From this blog on 22 May 2011:

Club loses GMB sponsorship after signing football fascist

Sunday 22 May 2011

by Adrian Roberts

The GMB said today that it has decided to end its sponsorship of Swindon Town football club in protest at the appointment of Paolo Di Canio as manager.

GMB said the Italian former player who was named as the new manager of Swindon Town on Friday had previously voiced right-wing views of which it strongly disapproved. …

Mr Di Canio has spoken freely about being a fascist and an admirer of Mussolini. He has faced bans and fines for making the fascist straight-arm salute while playing for Italian club Lazio.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 23 October 2017:

Fans of the Italian football club Lazio Roma have left anti-Semitic slogans and stickers depicting Anne Frank in their stadium. The statements were aimed at supporters of city-mate and arch rivals AS Roma, with whom they share the Olympic Stadium of Rome.

The Lazio fans included stickers depicting Anne Frank in an AS Roma shirt and wrote in graffiti ‘Roma fans are Jews’. …

The stickers and slogans were put there during last Sunday’s match, in the part of the stadium where AS Roma’s fanatical supporters always sit at their home matches.

Lazio’s fans never come there. Last weekend they were sitting there because their “part” of the stadium was closed because of racist shouting aimed at some non-white opponent players during a match a few weeks ago.

Lazio Roma’s fanatical supporters are notorious because of their fascist and extreme right-wing sympathies. This season, the UEFA football league already ordered the club to play a European contest without spectators as a punishment for racist sceaming during a European game of a few seasons ago.

From Associated Press, 23 October 2017:

ROME — Images of Anne Frank wearing a Roma jersey were among the anti-Semitic stickers and graffiti left by Lazio fans that were discovered at the Stadio Olimpico on Monday.

It was the latest in a long line of racist or anti-Semitic incidents involving Lazio supporters.

The northern curva (end) of the stadium where Lazio’s “ultra” fans sit was closed on Sunday for the match with Cagliari due to racist chanting during a match against Sassuolo this month.

As a result, Lazio decided to open the southern end and let the ultras in where Roma’s hard-core fans sit for their home matches.

Stadium cleaners found the anti-Semitic stickers a day later.

The Italian football federation is likely to open an investigation, which could result in a full stadium ban for Lazio. …

Lazio’s ultras have long been known for their far right-wing political stances and fascist leanings. During a 1998 derby, Lazio ultras held up a banner directed at their Roma counterparts that read, “Auschwitz Is Your Country; the Ovens Are Your Homes.”

The latest partial stadium ban stemmed from derogatory chants directed at visiting Sassuolo players Claud Adjapong and Alfred Duncan.

“This is not a curva, this is not football, this is not sport. Keep the anti-Semites out of the stadiums,” tweeted Ruth Dureghello, the president of Rome’s Jewish community. …

Also this season, Lazio beat Belgian side Zulte Waregem 2-0 in a Europa League match behind closed doors due to punishment from UEFA for racist chants aimed at a Sparta Prague player in the Roman side’s last continental appearance two seasons ago.