Dutch master Gullit hopes racism doesn't ruin Euro 2012

Former Holland star Gullit wants UEFA to take a sensible approach to any offences.

Ruud Gullit has spoken out against racism during Euro 2012.
Ruud Gullit has spoken out against racism during Euro 2012.
Image: MARK CUTHBERT/UK Press/Press Association Images

RUUD GULLIT IS hopeful racist chants directed at the Dutch national team during training on Thursday will prove to be a one-off.

Gullit, who captained the Netherlands to victory at Euro 1988, was in Warsaw to promote the launch of FARE, a body which aims to highlight and eradicate racism in football.

And the former AC Milan and Chelsea defender urged host nations Ukraine and Poland to fight against the problem.

“This is showtime for the two hosts to show themselves at their best,” Gullit said.

“There was already a prediction that it could happen. In newspapers in England there was already a warning for black people not to go to Poland, that is sad in itself that you have to say that.

“I hope it was (just) an incident, I think that Poland deserves better than this, I hope it was an incident.”

In the wake of increased fears of racism at the championships, UEFA have advised referees to postpone and even abandon matches if players are subject to abuse by fans, but Gullit opposes Michel Platini’s stance.

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“I think it is going to be very tough for UEFA to make a decision not to play, because it messes up the whole tournament,” he said.

“I hope that it won’t be necessary, I hope that football wins, and that everybody can enjoy the reason why we are here.”

The Netherlands get their campaign underway on Saturday against neighbours Denmark in the opening game in Group B.

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Steven O'Rourke

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