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OneLove: football brings people together, not apart

KNVB Media
KNVB Media
23 June, 13:30

Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum will wear this band on Sunday - Foto: KNVB Media

​​​​​​​Football unites and connects people all over the world. Differences don't matter because all players and football fans have at least one thing in common: their love for the game. With the OneLove campaign, we – the Oranje national team, the KNVB and other parties in football – are propagating that we want to unite and connect instead of exclude and discriminate.

The players of the Netherlands men’s and women’s national teams have embraced the OneLove campaign and all captains in professional soccer will wear the OneLove armband during this year's Coming Out Weekend to propagate that everyone in football should be able to be themselves. OneLove started in September 2020 with an open letter signed by sixty parties from professional and amateur football.

In addition, the captain of the Netherlands team, Georginio Wijnaldum, will wear a special OneLove armband at the upcoming Round of 16 match in the Hungarian capital Budapest. The Oranje will play their first match of the knockout phase this coming Sunday.

Wijnaldum: "By wearing this armband we want to emphasize that we stand for inclusiveness and connection. We are against any form of exclusion and discrimination. We hope to support everyone who feels discriminated against across the world".

'Our football belongs to everyone'

The OneLove campaign is one of the 20 elements of a wider action plan designed to combat discrimination in football. The plan is a joint initiative from the central Dutch government, the KNVB, the Netherlands top-flight Eredivisie competition, the second division Keuken Kampioen Divisie and the top-flight women’s Pure Energie Eredivisie Vrouwen competition. It has four complementary pillars: awareness, signaling, sanctioning and cooperation.

Other key elements of the action plan are the establishment of the Mijnals Committee (which includes national television talk show host Humberto Tan and former Netherlands football star Ruud Gullit) and DiscriminatieMelder, a hotline app designed to enable speedy and easy reporting of discrimination incidents in professional and amateur football.

Dutch discrimination hotline DiscriminatieMelder


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