Cruyff denies making racist slur to Davids

Dutch icon hits back in bitter boardroom row at Ajax after controversial return of Louis van Gaal

Johan Cruyff yesterday denied being racist when he said that Edgar Davids was only on the board of Ajax because of the colour of his skin.

The iconic former Netherlands captain is currently embroiled in a bitter dispute with his four fellow members of the Ajax supervisory board over their appointment last week, without consulting him, of Louis van Gaal as club director,

Allegations surfaced over the weekend that Cruyff directed a racist comment at Davids, who is of Surinamese descent. Cruyff reportedly said at a meeting earlier this year that Davids' skin colour was the reason for his appointment to the board.

In his column in yesterday's edition of the Dutch daily De Telegraaf, Cruyff denied any racist connotations. The man widely considered one of the greatest footballers ever said that his comment had been made in connection with efforts by Ajax to keep young players of non-Dutch descent at the club.

"It was Frank Rijkaard's idea to tackle the problem by putting somebody from the same background on the board who had completed the youth academy," Cruyff wrote. "That was one of the reasons Edgar Davids was asked to be on the advisory board."

Davids also wrote on his blog that he had not intended to portray Cruyff as racist. "I have never said, and I want to stress it, that Johan Cruyff is racist," Davids wrote. The row in Amsterdam came just days after Fifa's president Sepp Blatter caused uproar with comments that any racial incidents on the field could be settled by a handshake at the end of a match.

Cruyff has had a troubled relationship with Van Gaal since the latter's time as coach at Barcelona, the Spanish club where Cruyff remains an influential figure. Despite that history, four of the five members of the Ajax board decided last week, without consulting Cruyff, to appoint Van Gaal.

The club's members will now probably have to decide at a meeting next week whether to support Cruyff or the other four board members.

Cruyff was appointed earlier this year and asked to help revamp the famous Ajax youth academy, which over the years has churned out talents such as Wesley Sneijder, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Kluivert. Cruyff has installed former players, including Bergkamp and Wim Jonk, to coach the youngsters in the slick-passing Ajax style.

If Cruyff is forced out of the club – which has won the Dutch league title a record 30 times and the European Cup four times – there are fears that Bergkamp and Jonk could also leave. But the current Ajax coach Frank de Boer has declined to take sides in the dispute and looks set to stay.

One thing appears clear: Cruyff will no longer work with the other board members. "I want nothing more to do with those people," he wrote.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?