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'Just be a man': Davids wants Cruyff apology for skin colour comment

The Barnet coach says the issue was ‘swept under the carpet’ in his home nation, but one year on, he still feels hurt.

Cruyff, appointed Barcelona's Honorary President in 2010.
Cruyff, appointed Barcelona's Honorary President in 2010.
Image: MANU FERNANDEZ/AP/Press Association Images

EDGAR DAVIDS HAS demanded that fellow Dutch legend Johann Cruyff apologise over his alleged remark a year ago the only reason he was on the board of Ajax football club was because he was black.

Davids, 39 and now head coach of League Two outfit Barnet, had brushed the remark aside at the time but he told BBC Sport that now he wanted an apology from his compatriot, adding he was especially upset the Dutch Football Association had done nothing about it.

Cruyff denied being racist – something that at the time Davids also concurred with – and claimed his comments were misrepresented. He made his remarks after Louis van Gaal had been appointed general director without his knowledge.

“The issue isn’t resolved,” Davids told BBC Sport. “I still feel bad because in Holland they pretend nothing happened.

“They tried to sweep it under the carpet, because it’s a certain figure in football, and that’s the wrong message to send to people.

“He admitted it – there has to be consequences and there weren’t. He didn’t apologise and that’s what I’m still not satisfied about.

“Just be a man and apologise, because you made the remark and it’s unacceptable.”

Cruyff had said that he had made the remark to Davids, a tough, uncompromising midfielder who was capped 74 times, when they clashed over another topic.

“Ajax is a multi-cultural club and we have found that many talented immigrant players quit when they reach puberty,” he wrote at the time.

“So we wanted to tackle this problem with someone from the same background, who had come through it. And that was Edgar Davids.

“During one of our fights I pointed that out to him. But it had nothing to do with his skin colour.”

The KNVB (Dutch FA) said in a statement there was little they could do as nothing had been made public by Ajax.

“The alleged statements were made during an internal meeting and never publicly pronounced or confirmed by the football club.

“A person that is racially abused is allowed to file a complaint against another person/an organisation in football at the Royal Netherlands Football Association.

“Once filed, the prosecutor will look into this specific case to see whether or not further investigation is needed.”

- © AFP, 2012

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