PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Infamous Dutch child displays middle finger to the world
Probably a photo you have seen on numerous occasions, particularly in the form of memes.
Contextually, it actually has a fairly serious background. This was taken at the 2002 UEFA Cup Final, where Feyenoord were playing Borussia Dortmund at, coincidentally, Feyenoord’s home stadium, the ‘Feijnoord stadium’. Two days prior to this, Pim Fortuyn, the most likely candidate to become the new Dutch Prime Minister, was assassinated in vociferous circumstances. Fortuyn was a Feyenoord fan, and there was a pre-game silence which the Dortmund fans felt obliged to interrupt.
Given the sentiment and emotion surrounding the game and Fortuyn’s death, this was a highly charged provocation and the home fans responded, including this Dutch child, in a predictable fashion. Head to 1:30 in the highlight video below for a brief taster of the hyper-charged intensity within the stadium pre-game. Of course, the absurdity of this photo has made it more synonymous with humour, but its roots lay in a darker time where football and politics crossed swords on a continental scale.
Bonus: Fortuyn’s assailant was released from prison just last year (May 2014).