Football clubs across the Netherlands are taking to the field sporting black armbands in remembrance of the 193 Dutch citizens who lost their lives in Thursday’s Malaysia Airlines tragedy.
Figures released by the airline show that almost two-thirds of the 298 passengers on board the flight between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur were Dutch. Subsequently, the governing body of football in the Netherlands has ordered all clubs to show their respects to those families affected by the tragedy.
With the Dutch football season still a few weeks away, clubs have been instructed to show their condolences during their pre-season fixtures by wearing the armbands. Additionally, all Eredivisie and Eerste teams have or will adhere to a minute of silence to remember those victims.
The Dutch FA announced the move via its official website on Friday afternoon. A statement read:
The Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) has called on all football clubs in the Netherlands to fly the national flag at half-mast this weekend.
It also asks that team members where black armbands and that one minute’s silence be observed before each match; all of this as a mark of respect and sympathy by the Dutch soccer community for relatives and friends of those who lost their lives in the air disaster over Ukraine on Thursday.
Football isn’t the only sport to show its condolences to those affected by the crash. As per The Huffington Post, Friday’s Tour de France riders marked the tragedy with a similar gesture.
Thursday’s harrowing events put football rivalries into perspective. Elsewhere, Sunderland fans on their supporter message board have started to raise funds in honour of the two Newcastle United fans who also lost their lives in the disaster.
The whole world is in mourning of those 298 victims; it’s a nice touch of remembrance by the Dutch FA and its representatives.