Ajax and Heracles refused to kick off for a whole minute in brilliant protest against racism


It seems almost criminal that, in 2019, the ugly spectre of racism is still alive and kicking in the world of football.

This year has been a particularly difficult year with a spate of incidents occurring all over the world, but in Europe in particular.

Italy has been a hotbed of racial abuse of late but there have been cases of obscene abuse all over the continent.

Now, players are starting to take matters into their own hands with various kinds of on-field protests beginning to take place.

Georginio Wijnaldum and Frenkie De Jong sent a powerful message during the international break as they celebrated a Dutch goal together on Tuesday night.

Mario Balotelli took a less subtle approach, belting the ball in the direction of a group of racist fans before storming off the pitch.

But perhaps the most potent protest of all came at the kick-off of the Dutch Eredivisie clash between Ajax and Heracles on Saturday.

As the referee blew his whistle to get the game underway, Ajax made one pass before refusing to kick another ball for a whole minute.

Heracles remained in their half as the crowd, coaches and referee joined together in resounding applause.

This is what football is all about - all involved deserve massive praise.

The more attention that fans and players alike can bring to the ominous threat that racism poses to our game, the more likely UEFA are to clamp down harder on those who think they can get away with it.

There is simply no place for it in football and it needs to end, now.

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