Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk has banned the Dutch players from using Twitter during the 2010 World Cup after attacker Eljero Elia sparked a racism row with comments on a
live streaming video.
On the video, Elia and Ryan Babel are seen playing a computer game in their room in front of a webcam. Viewers of the video reacted angrily after Elia racially insulted a Moroccan friend on the live streaming video, prompting the Hamburg star to apologise for his behaviour and leaving Van Marwijk no other choice but to impose the ban on Twitter.
“I want to apologise to the Moroccan community, but I am not a racist. I grew up in The Hague in a neighbourhood with 75 per cent Moroccans and have a lot of friends among them. What I said was meant for a friend of mine, Reduan, who always calls me ‘negro’… it sounds odd, but it is some slang,” said Elia to Dutch reporters.
Defender Gregory van der Wiel confirmed that the Dutch squad are no longer allowed to use Twitter during the tournament and Babel and Elia went offline later on as well.