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Netherlands Football Captains Lead Boycott of TV Show Over Racist Remarks; Quique Setien Says VAR Is Not Being Used Correctly and More (Football Round-up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Dutch football captains lead boycott for racist remarks on TV show Veronica Inside | FC Barcelona manager Quique Setien says VAR isn’t being used correctly | Spanish prosecutor charge Carlo Ancelotti with tax fraud | Japan plans to withdraw 2023 Women's World Cup bid | Arsenal star tests positive for Covid-19
Netherlands football team skipper Sara van Veenendaal

Sara van Veenendaal (in pic), the Netherlands women’s football team skipper, and men’s skipper Virgil van Dijk, are boycotting after the TV show pundit Johan Derksen made a racist comment (Pic: Twitter,sportsnieuws).

The captains of the Dutch women’s and men’s national team -- Sara van Veenendaal and Virgil van Dijk -- are boycotting a Dutch TV show over racist comments made by the pundit Johan Derksen. Advertisers have also threatened to join them. 

The protest has sparked because of recent comments Derksen, 71, made on the show likening a man in blackface dressed as Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete,a  character from the festive Saint Nicholas celebrations, to that of a well-known Dutch activist and Black Lives Matter protester.

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In a joint statement, supported by past and present Dutch players, the national team captains wrote: “This is no longer on the brink. This has nothing to do with humour any more. This is not the language of football. This is over the line. Not for the first time. Not for the second time. Time and time again. Enough is enough.”

Derksen, a former professional footballer, has history with courting controversy. In the past he has compared the Surinamese-born politician, Sylvana Simons, to a monkey, for which he later apologised, and claimed that the standard of amateur football has been threatened by the increase of players of Moroccan heritage. “I will be dismissed as a racist but I really don’t give a damn,” he said at the time.

“Nobody wants to be insulted, right? There was a time when people said, ‘Well, don’t be so upset,” former Dutch legend Edgar Davids said. “We often say now: athletes have an exemplary role. But of course that also applies to the media. They are responsible for what they feed the public in terms of information.”

The chief executive of MediaCom, Maiko Valentijn, who is involved in buying airtime for advertisers in the Netherlands outlined the situation as the breaking point. “Our advertisers deserve an explanation on how to prevent their advertising from ending up in an environment of ‘content’ that is diametrically opposed to what these brands stand for,” he said.

Derksen, has so far refused to apologise for his actions. “The Netherlands is in very bad shape when internationals and advertisers determine the content of programmes,” he said.

Two Sides to Every VAR

Barcelona manager Quique Setien has said that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system is not being used correctly in La Liga. His comments follow the controversy behind Real Madrid's win at Real Sociedad over the weekend.

"There are things we cannot control and that do not depend on us. Everybody saw what happened in Anoeta [Real Sociedad’s home ground] and everyone will draw their own conclusions," Setien said to reporters ahead of Barcelona’s game against Athletic Bilbao scheduled on Tuesday.

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Madrid beat Sociedad 2-1 to climb above Barcelona at the top of La Liga but Sociedad were aggrieved because they had a goal ruled out by VAR for offside and Karim Benzema’s winner stood after he appeared to control the ball with his arm.

"It's understandable that we think why there are some actions that are reviewed, the referee himself reviews them and they don't do the same in other plays,” Setien said. "They do it in some matches and in some others (they don't). So you could really think that (VAR) is not being used correctly.”

Indicating that controversies were part of football he said, "We've been here for many years and this doesn't change. It's always the same, the controversy will always be there. VAR is a tool that can make us better, but we have to use it to have a clearer view of reality." 

Despite being equal on 65 points each, Real are currently at the top of the standings because of a superior head-to-head record. 

Ancelotti Charged With Tax Fraud

Madrid Prosecutors have charged Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti over suspicion of avoiding €1 million ($1.12 million) tax due for revenues from image rights between 2014 and 2015 while he was manager of Real Madrid.

The Madrid Community Prosecutor's office accused Ancelotti of concealing revenues in a statement ‘intending to avoid his tax duties towards the public treasury with no justification’.

Besides managing Real Madrid and Everton, Ancelotti also had loaded trophy spells at multiple European clubs including AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

As a coach, is one of only three managers to have won the Champions League three times as coach, twice with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid. He is also a former player who was capped 26 times for Italy and played in the 1990 World Cup. 

Many famous players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and a couple of more along with recently Brazillian Spanish player Diego Costa and Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho have been sued in tax by Spanish authorities cases in the past.

Japan Withdraws World Cup Bid

The Japan Football Association (JFA) has withdrawn its bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup saying they would not win the rights to host the tournament. The decision has come three days before FIFA will announce the host for the event.

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JFA Chairman Kozo Tashima said when his organization estimated the number of votes it is likely to get in the voting process to select the host, they realised Japan had fallen behind.

"It was a difficult decision. Not getting support and losing will not lead to anything better in the future," Tashima said. "We had thought about this for a couple of weeks, but this is the best decision considering all of the factors."

Japan was bidding against Colombia, along with Australia and New Zealand’s joint entry. The neighboring South Pacific countries came out as frontrunners on June 10, when FIFA released its bid evaluations.

Australia and New Zealand had the highest overall average score of 4.1 out of 5, with Japan scoring 3.9 and Colombia 2.8. Scores were based on an array of factors including stadiums and accommodation.

Arsenal Star Tests Positive 

An Arsenal footballer tested positive for Covid-19 before the Gunners were to play their opening match of the resumed Premier League season against Manchester City last week. After testing positive, the unnamed player and two others who were in close proximity with him, were put under quarantine before the match.

The report also said that the trio were missing from training sessions. New tests were done on Monday, and all three of them tested negative. They were allowed to rejoin the team for Arsenal’s next match.

Arsenal have lost both their games upon the restart, and their loss to Brighton over the weekend had sparked off a storm at full time, with Matteo Guendozi grabbing Brighton’s Neal Maupay around the throat after the final whistle at the Amex Stadium. 

Guendouzi was angry over Maupay's involvement in goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s injury in the first half. Maupay jumped into Leno as he claimed the ball comfortably in the box, forcing the German to land awkwardly. He had to be stretchered off with a seemingly bad ACL injury.

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