AMSTERDAM, (Reuters) - Ruud Gullit was forced into an embarrassing apology on Monday after posting a video clip of the Netherlands team in their changing-room after Sunday’s World Cup qualifying win over Bulgaria.
The seemingly innocuous film of a subdued scene, where most players were seated and looking at their mobiles, was made by Gullit, who is the assistant coach, following the 3-1 victory in Amsterdam that kept the Dutch in the race for a World Cup place next year.
But the clip, sent out on Twitter, caused outrage in the Netherlands, including criticism from coach Dick Advocaat.
“Honestly, I think it’s very strange that there is a video like this,” said Advocaat, who was standing with his back to the camera when Gullit filmed the 15-second scene.
“I think it’s very strange, I’ll tell him too. I’m going to have a heart to heart with Gullit, I think that’s wise,” he told Dutch media.
It was followed by fierce criticism on Dutch television, where analysts said Gullit, who played 66 times for his country, had violated the sanctity of the dressing-room. One commentator suggested it was a sackable offence.
“I made the film in my enthusiasm but realised afterwards that I should not have done it. And with that we have drawn a line under the matter,” Gullit said in a statement released by the Dutch football association KNVB. Advocaat agreed: “I didn’t think it was a good idea from Ruud and told him so and that is all settled.”
The Dutch view of filming in the changing-room is at odds with attitudes in other countries. In American sports, it is common for reporters to be allowed into the dressing-rooms after matches to interview players.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson,; Editing by Ed Osmond