Oranje fans headed to Budapest gave out rainbow flags, sweatbands at Schiphol
Dutch football fans who departed to Budapest from Schiphol on Sunday were handing out rainbow flags and sweatbands at the airport, ANP reported. The flags read "A szerelem mindenkié”, which means “love is for everyone” in Hungarian.
The Dutch men’s football team will face Czech Republic in a Euro 2020 Round of 16 game on Sunday. The match is being played in the Hungarian capital. Hungary recently introduced a law that seeks to ban openly discussing or educating children on topics related to diverse sexualities and genders. The controversial law sparked a huge international outcry.
The rainbow flag and sweatband campaign is an initiative of KRO-NCRV presenter Klaas van Kruistum. He said the fans reacted to his idea with great enthusiasm. Van Kristum hoped to inspire the fans to speak out against the discriminatory law.
"I also had the idea that some people found the situation there problematic. They also wondered if they should even go there now. I'm glad people are willing to make a statement there in the stadium," he said.
Van Kruistum said he was aware of potential security risks but it "didn’t feel right" to him to stay silent about the issue. "We are of course not going to change the whole situation at once, but it is a signal we are sending."
Georginio Wijnaldum, captain of the Dutch national football team, previously announced he would wear the #onelove captain's armband during Sunday’s game. The Dutch football association KNVB has also called on supporters to bring rainbow flags to Budapest.
About 8,000 Dutch fans are expected to attend the game at the Ferenc Puskás Stadium on Sunday.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and numerous Dutch organizations have expressed deep concern and disappointment over the Hungarian law. Rutte and European Council President Ursula von der Leyen said it interfered with the basic values of the European Union, of which Hungary is a part.
Rutte went as far as to question the country's future as a member of the bloc.