El Yaakoubi caused a stir by not posing with his teammates and opponents at a OneLove banner prior to the 4-1 home win against SC Cambuur on Sunday, March 19.
“Not taking a seat behind the large OneLove banner during the team photo has caused a lot of noise and misunderstanding, both internally and externally, and as a result we have ended up in a position for both the club and the player that is not desirable for both.” Excelsior reported in a statement, in which the club announced that it was jointly decided that the footballer is no longer the captain.
El Yaakoubi says in the interview on Thursday that he felt put in front of the action with the banner. “I heard one minute before we started the warm-up that we had to take a picture with the banner. I told the manager that I would find it hypocritical to stand behind that banner when I’m not wearing the band,” says El Yaakoubi who had already agreed with the club that he would wear an alternate captain’s armband.
“It was therefore clear that I would not be photographed. In the end, I became the victim of the club’s poor communication.”
‘They put on a different jacket’
Although the action of March 19 under the name of OneLove was against racism and discrimination, according to El Yaakoubi it was created for the LGBTIQ + community. “Now they are doing it in a different way. The message has been made more comprehensive, but you are too late with that. I experienced that as a marketing stunt,” he says.
El Yaakoubi also says he wants to use his freedom to find what he wants. “But if I make the choice to use that freedom, I don’t fit in that alley and those freedoms suddenly don’t apply to me.” He also thinks that talk shows are mainly polarized about the action. “I’m not participating in that.”
On his Instagram, the player of Moroccan origin called for accepting that there are differences. “We have to work towards a truly diverse and inclusive society in which we don’t have to convince or force each other, but where we value each other and, above all, talk about similarities.”