Redouan El Yaakoubi is no longer captain of the Rotterdam football club Excelsior, after he refused several times to participate in the OneLove promotion. That is the campaign of the KNVB football association against all forms of discrimination. Excelsior late Tuesday in a press release know that it is ‘jointly decided’ to give the captain’s armband to someone else. It is not yet known who that will be.
Earlier this month, defender El Yaakoubi refused to wear the special OneLove band. Prior to a game against SC Cambuur last weekend, the 27-year-old captain did not want to be photographed with his team in front of a OneLove banner. According to Excelsior, this led to “a lot of noise and incomprehension”, which is why discussions were held that led to the decision to remove the captain. El Yaakoubi will continue to play for the club.
Excelsior regrets that a discussion has arisen around the OneLove campaign, “a discussion that is at odds with all the principles and core values that we as a club use and hold in high esteem”. In the press release, the club says that it was not El Yaakoubi’s intention to distance himself from any group of people, but that he does not want a statement imposed on him. He wants to stand up for equality in the world “in his own way”.