The lost quarterfinal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo has come to an end for Sander de Wijn. The international went verbally over the line afterwards and was therefore suspended for two matches. In addition, the Dutch team has to play with one less man in those duels.
Emotions got the upper hand after the much-discussed game against Australia. The Orange squad played its best game of the tournament and eventually lost on shoot-outs. ‘During the match and series we felt strongly disadvantaged’, says De Wijn. ‘Take, for example, the shoot-out of Jonas de Geus. It was tucked under the keeper, but nothing happened. We were furious along the centerline.’
Shortly after the final whistle, something snapped at the defender of Kampong. “My teammates and I were furious and I went to the race management to get a story and I used the wrong words. ‘ F**k off ‘, that’s what I said. I didn’t mean to intimidate them, of course. But yes, I do understand that it was not possible. It has been assessed as ‘disrespectful behaviour’.’
That was also the term in the letter that De Wijn received in his mail ten days after the tournament. “They asked for a defence. So I could appeal. But I don’t. It is correct what was there. I’ve been wrong and that includes punishment. I did explain the situation. That outburst didn’t just happen, of course.’
‘Not to look for an excuse, eh’, says the routine immediately after. “But something happened to me at that moment. Not just because of the shoot-outs or the yellow card we got in the last quarter. But also because of my run-up. I have had many injuries. Have done and left a lot to stand there. Maybe it was my last chance at an Olympic medal. And then it goes like this… That’s all you don’t want, of course.’
I am fed up with my own behavior and let my emotions guide meSander de Wijn
De Wijn is still thinking about his future in Orange. If he continues and comes before Jeroen Delmee’s plans, he will miss the first two official duels of Orange. ‘I have to accept that. It’s my own stupid fault and responsibility. I think it’s terrible that the team can play two games with not eighteen, but seventeen men. I feel guilty towards the team and the new national coach, who can’t do anything about this.’
When asked, the KNHB indicates that it accepts the sanctions. The word that predominates at De Wijn is, of course, regret. ‘I was disappointed with my own behavior and was guided by emotions. That’s not good to talk about. So I’m not going to try that either. Anyone who makes a mistake must sit still and be shaved.’