Dutch government: No representatives at Euros quarter-finals in Azerbaijan
If the Netherlands were to reach the Euros 2020 quarter-finals in Baku, the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) agrees that no representative from the Dutch government or royal family should be present at the game.
No Dutch representatives in Budapest or Baku?
A large majority in the House agrees with the motion put forward by GroenLinks and ChristenUnie, who argue that sending representatives for the Netherlands would be inappropriate, emphasising that Azerbaijan’s detainment of Armenian soldiers goes against international humanitarian law.
Interestingly, this is the second time over the course of the tournament that members of the House asked the cabinet to refuse to send a delegation to a football match because of political controversy. A motion was recently put forward, arguing that no representatives should be sent to the Netherlands’ next game in Budapest as a result of the controversial anti-LGBTQ law passed in Hungary.
While no representatives will be present at the Netherlands versus Czech Republic in Budapest on June 27, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said this decision was not taken because of debate in the House or the controversial Hungarian law. The cabinet is yet to decide what will happen with the game in Baku, as Rutte says he would like to keep politics and sport separate. “The question is always: do you go to the country, or do you go to the athletes?" he says.
Dutch landmarks light up in solidarity
Debate surrounding the controversial Hungarian law has led to landmarks across the Netherlands turning on their rainbow lights in support of the LGBTQ+ community. On Wednesday night, when Germany faced off against Hungary in Munich, the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam and several city halls were lit up in the colours of the rainbow.
The Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam also went colourful, Tweeting that the rainbow would also be up during the upcoming football game at the neighbouring Johan Cruijff ArenA on Saturday.
17 EU member states - including the Netherlands - have also condemned the anti-LGBTQ politics in Hungary, asking the European Commission to call Hungary to order and, if necessary, take the case to the European Court of Justice. “Hate, intolerance and discrimination have no place in our Union,” Rutte wrote on Twitter.