01-05-1943

Ignace van Swieten

 On this date the famed Dutch football (soccer here in the states) IGNACE VAN SWIETEN was born (d. 2005). He was also a teacher at the KNVB Academy. He was born in a Japanese (POW) camp near Semarang in Indonesia. Van Swieten was openly Gay at a time when it was not accepted in professional sports. 

Hell it’s still tough. According to a 2009 poll conducted by the Dutch football magazine, Magazine Voetbal International, 33% of professional football players in the Dutch league expressed the notion that if a footballer came out of the closet, he wouldn’t have a life anymore.

Twenty-five percent believe that homosexuality will always be a taboo. Sixty percent feel that there is no place for homosexuals in Dutch football. Only eleven players said that they do not consider it a taboo anymore. Van Swieten received a lot of hatred from players and fans alike but is now considered a great figure in Dutch Football and a valued teacher to other players.