WC haka row: Dutch team remove training video

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The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) has removed a training video of the women’s national team from its social media account after claims the squad were mocking the haka.

The haka is a traditional Maori dance and is usually performed in a group and represents a display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity. It has been adopted by rugby teams in New Zealand ,who are co-hosts of this year’s World Cup with Australia.

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A video circulating on social media appeared to show members of the Netherlands squad performing the haka which received criticism onlline.

The KNVB said they have taken down the video “out of respect.” It also added that there was no question of a haka, but rather images of a physical part of a training session that was aimed “at summoning inner strength from the core of the body.”

A spokesman added: “There has therefore never been any intention on the part of the team to deal disrespectfully with the cultural values of one of the World Cup host countries.”

Spain‘s national team have also been criticised after a clip circulated online of four players imitating the Haka.

The Netherlands has been training in Sydney, Australia since last weekend and they fly out to New Zealand next week ahead of their World Cup opener against Portugal on July 23.

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