Home » Sport » Gus Hiddink honored for standing up against fascism 30 years ago: “We must be attentive to forces that can violate democracy”

Gus Hiddink honored for standing up against fascism 30 years ago: “We must be attentive to forces that can violate democracy”

Gus Hiddink honored for standing up against fascism 30 years ago: "We must be attentive to forces that can violate democracy"

The Dutch coach receives an award from the Valencian Court for ordering the removal of the banner bearing Nazi symbols in the Valencia-Albacete match in 1992.

Gus Hiddink, in his speech at the Valencian Courts.EFE

“I would rather be quieter in the Mestalla, before the 60,000 shouting fans, than in the house of Democracy.” this is how he confessed to feeling Gus Hiddink When first stepped into the Valencian Court. Although he has been to Valencia several times since his departure from the Mestalla bench, this occasion was special. The Valencian Parliament honored him with his pride for his fight against racism, xenophobia and hate crimes, Guillaume AguluFor an incident that happened 30 years ago.

9 February 1992 when he stepped on the grass during pre-heating Valencia-Albacete At the Mestalla, he saw a flag with Nazi symbolism in the stand, which hung over the fence, which then separated the grass and the stand, right in front of the area occupied by a la Mancha Matar. Clearly enraged, the Dutchman asked the club to remove it and even threatened, with the support of his players, not to jump on the field, until the red flag with the swastika in the center disappeared. Happens.

What did Hiddink achieve up to that point, neither nascent sports law, which prohibits banners inciting violence, or police complaints. His gesture, which was accompanied by a few others – such as requesting that they not be projected on video markers that have allusions to the film Rambo- They became the first symbols against fascism in the sport and the first outright disapproval of the entry of extreme groups into football.

It is this gesture of February 1992 that prompted Cortes to be rewarded for being “brave and extraordinary”, a pioneer and he went around the world. “I can’t keep quiet,” admitted the coach, as he became more nervous to receive the award “on the side of a stadium” from Cortés’ president, Enrique Moreira. “I’m a little scared, but it’s a matter of pride for my wife and me,” he assured.

Fernando Ziner and Robert Fernandez chat in the presence of Tendillo, with whom he was their coach.EFE

Hiddink was born in 1944 in Arnhem, a Dutch city bordering Germany, which was then occupied, and his family took an active part in the resistance, taking on persecuted Jews and British and American airmen who He had parachuted when his planes were shot down at the border. .. He experienced and remembered the consequences of the war, as well as the meaning inherent in the symbols he had ordered to be removed.

For this reason, Dutchmen who entered Valencia between 1991 and 1994 asked the society to be “Very attentive to forces that may violate democracy”, “We have to fight against intolerance and celebrate the free word,” assures the technician, who has taken advantage of his days in Valencia to enjoy one of his passions, playing golf on the El Saler course. , and meeting some people who were his players. two of them, fernando gin You Robert FernandezHe was accompanied in that act, in which Valencia’s institutional representative was also a former player. Michael Tendillo,


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Victoria June